Thursday, October 25, 2007

Directionally Challenged

Oh the image of the classic family road trip. Five people piled in a van, bursting at the seams with mismatched luggage. The resident navigator is riding shotgun, head tilted, trying to make sense of a map that had been stuck in the glove compartment since the beginning of time.

Nowadays, consumers are creating their own maps and experiences. Imagine a time before MapQuest and Google Maps! No longer does the navigator struggle with locating highways on a complicated map- they are able to read turn-by-turn directions and even find businesses along the route.

Companies are even starting to think about providing mobile guides for certain cities. While maps are often left in the car or lost, mobile phones are an extension of today's consumer. Do Me ... London, a provider of mobile entertainment guides, recently launched information for London. Users can request a tour via SMS and then a link is provided so free information can be obtained. Including:

Index of 80 attractions
Free audio guides
Finding tips about the city

While the site is not flashy or fancy, the concept is quite advanced (not to mention it will begin to open up opportunities for advertisers). The social aspect will continue to evolve as well. On the Do Me ... London site, there is an area where consumers snapped photos of themselves using the product. I could eventually see users submitting reviews of landmarks and providing travel tips.

Will the family road trips of 2010 have everyone Twittering and Whrrling and Yelping and Google SMSing from their 6th gen iPhones?

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