Saturday, August 28, 2010

Great Use Case for Location-based Services: Amusement Parks

Today I was at an amusement park with a bunch of friends. A bunch of friends who had a bunch of different interests and rides they wanted to go on. So, it's no surprise that the group split up a lot in multiple subgroups. And throughout the day, it was hard to regroup.

What usually happened when I tried to hook up with part of the group? I tried to call everyone on their cell. But usually they can't hear their phones ringing, probably because they are screaming their lungs out on a coaster!

I also kept losing the park map.

It would be so cool to be able to see a park map on my phone and where all the members of my group are. I know there are apps, such as Google Latitude and Loopt. But not everyone may want to download, register or can use the app on their cell phones. And the map wouldn't be detailed enough of all the venues at the amusement park. A street map would not suffice.

Imagine this: A location-aware or geo-fence service detects me and my friends have checked into the amusement park. Or if it's manual, maybe we send a special SMS code to receive a link to an app of a detailed amusement park map that also tracks my friends' whereabouts. But, it may still be a pain to sign-up for another check-in service.

This is where Facebook Places has an advantage with Facebook's huge installed base of 500 million (and growing) users. What if the amusement park had an app that leveraged the Facebook API so there is no registration to a new location-based service. This is a compelling reason for amusement parks to develop a really useful, Facebook Places-compatible app for its visitors! You here me, Six Flags?


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