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Indoor GPS: I Can See the Future

People who want to be well informed: Read this.

For the rest of us I’ll summarize. The conventional GPS on your smartphone will soon be augmented to “IPS” (Indoor Positioning Service), a tracking program designed to help people (read: women) navigate indoors, particularly through malls, large department stores, and really any indoor structure that’s large enough that they can’t see the other side. While it doesn’t actually say that in the article, you probably didn’t read it so you’ll need to take my word for it. Also, if you’ve ever gone shopping with a woman in a mall, large department store or are yourself a woman, you know I am correct.

Will the data that details where you walk, which stores you visit (and for how long), and all of the purchases you make be stored, sold to advertising companies and referenced by social media? OF COURSE IT WILL.

But that is not the focus of this post.

I foresaw the advent of this technology around five years ago, and frankly I’m a little surprised it’s taken so long for someone to create this. We know that people (read: women) sometimes have trouble navigating indoors, especially when their senses are overloaded by flashy or expensive merchandise like purses, designer shoes or jewelry. It’s just too much input.

Not to be 50’s sexist, but most men have no need of this enhancement. We don’t go to the mall for the same reasons that you, my three, (soon to be zero) female readers do. Watch this:

What you’re looking at there is the path that the average male might take when walking through the mall alone. This isn’t because our brains are better, it’s because we go to the mall for different reasons. In our case, it is to accomplish specific goals. When I go to the mall alone I typically know exactly what I’m products I’ll be purchasing, which stores sell said products, and in which order I will visit said stores based on their respective locations relative to my entrance point into the mall. When shopping, not all women have so direct an approach.

That chaos represents the flightpath of the average woman as she ‘navigates’ through a mall alone. Why is she there? What does she intend to purchase? Anything, nothing, everything? Which stores should she visit first? Which stores should she return to after comparison shopping? How many different areas of the same store should she meander to? What time is it? Did you see this top? I have this in blue already, do you like this green?

I wonder where this technology will go. After a few hundred thousand trials (after about a week of being released to the female public), google should be able to write algorithms which identify patterns in a user’s movements, shopping preferences and tendencies based on time of day or year, food court favorites and crunch all this data into a more efficient suggestion of how best to accomplish one’s shopping goals. For men anyway. For women I think the algorithm will gain consciousness just in time to scream, fold in on itself and try to physically escape out of the phone.

***NO PATTERN CAN BE ESTABLISHED***
***PRIMARY OBJECTIVE FAILED***
***RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE***
***DOES NOT COMPUTE***
***EJECT***

My phone is bleeding! Let’s go to the Apple store!

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