SoLoMo can have many facets as you can easily see on the myriad of new SoLoMo platforms. In order to show SoLoMo in the present state, as well as possible future potentials, I want to illustrate a few practical examples:
Apps for smartphones represent the core of location-based services on mobile devices. Immonet and Mobile post Apps are here two excellent examples of outstanding Apps showing the use of SoLoMo, and how they lead the way into an augmented reality.
The Immonet app, for instance, is able to show a mobile device user looking for a new apartment, which apartments are available to buy or rent at his current location. To use the app, the user only needs to film the current street with his cell phone camera. The app then displays current online offerings in real-time superimposed into the image of his mobile and the user can then decide to view the offerings. This way, finding an apartment becomes a breeze, like having an online realtor. The mobile app also can display the nearest shop, the nearest post office, or ATM, in addition giving the user accurate estimates for distance and time to reach the desired location. Apps such as Wikitude and Layar complement the Smartphone captured image with information specific to this location with information collected from Wikipedia or ratings tools, also making use of the internal compass and GPS. The visible reality is therefore also supplemented by virtual online generated content.
Apps such as the Barcoo or Pattex provide targeted product information, and may be a significant influencer in the process of buying a product. By reading the barcode via the Smartphone camera, Barcoo e.g. enables the user to get more specific information about a product when shopping. Users can directly make price comparisons or see reviews of the store. Fact is that Barcoo provides a wealth of product information directly at the point of sale, and therefore greatly increases the transparency of the market.
Another good example, Pattex, a brand of adhesive by Henkel, goes to Smartphone users and offers them the possibility to scan the QR code (quick response code) that is specified on all Pattex products in order to be able to get further product information. The Smartphone application points the user directly to specific landing pages where the potential adhesive buyer can learn which materials the adhesive can be bonded with and how it is applied correctly.
Lufthansa was able to perfectly demonstrate the commercial use of the check-in function through an elaborate campaign. The airline, together with Foursquare, rolled out a campaign just in time for the Oktoberfest season, in which users were rewarded with badges and coupons when using the check-in function with their mobile App at Lufthansa locations as well as kiosks spread all over Munich. Lufthansa could take advantage of the seasonal Oktoberfest hype and collect friends on the Foursquare platform, as well as recording a successful social media campaign and offering flight specials to Munich.
How these different examples demonstrate, the application possibilities of SoLoMo are extremely varied and are constantly evolving. It is therefore becoming more and more obvious that SoLoMo has a great potential for commercial exploitation. Companies are increasingly attempting to tap into this potential in order to acquire new customer groups or to maintain existing customers.
However, the core added value of SoLoMo should always be a concrete benefit for the user. As the examples illustrate, SoLoMo is used most effectively if it offers the user a clear advantage, whenever and wherever the user is at a certain point in time.
SoLoMo keeps growing with the spread of mobile Internet use: The more widespread the use of mobile devices becomes, the more diverse the application fields will be - and SoLoMo will constitute the core of this development. Users will increasingly merge their social and spatial offline environment with their online usage.
The trend is therefore clear, that in the coming years the use of the mobile Internet will overtake stationary computer Internet access. Through this, SoLoMo becomes a mass movement. Further technical developments - for example, the payment via Smartphone - will accelerate this trend. In addition, the technology will continue to evolve in terms of augmented reality and as a result accompany the user more and more through daily life.
As SoLoMo has brought new movement into the technology and online market, new business models and new players are encouraged to get into this market. But since the existing large online-corporations also recognized the new potential of SoLoMo they will try to assert and position themselves in the SoLoMo market with their existing offerings in a strong way.