Location-based services are expected to be major contributors to the success of mobile computing. They provide value for consumer, corporate, and government markets by allowing a user's current position to be used within mobile applications that provide routing, asset tracking, information retrieval, emergency services, and a significant number of other features. At the heart of LBS are the location positioning technologies, which vary significantly in accuracy and cost. As these positioning technologies become more accurate and less expensive, expect to see the LBS market expand significantly.
Developers should not be concerned with the underlying technology being used when creating location-based services, as long as the location information is accurate enough to satisfy the application requirements, and as long as the time required to determine the location does not detract from the application's usefulness. To aid with development, a number of vendors offer LBS components as part of their mobile platforms.
The next chapter focuses on four technologies that are expected to grow in importance in the mobile industry: Web Services, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW), Speech Application Language Tags (SALT), and M-Services.