IMNEARBY.COM The Killer App.
It is important to note that, IM technology, Contact Management and LBS components can easily be licensed, not just built internally. This is important, because this is a market that needs to be hit prior to other larger players entering the space. So the concept is to be able to suck everyone of your business and/or personal contacts into a neutral IM client (should work ideally not just with AIM, but with all the messaging clients). Marry the IM client to Navigon’s SDK … And you have an immediate mobile social network unrivaled… Users would be able to determine who sees them and who does not, as well as “friends of friends “ (linked in).
So one day I happen to be at the airport, and my IM client would alert me that someone in my social network is nearby me…I would have the opportunity to “meet” / cloak / “reject” … Paid user business model for PRO features, as well as huge local advertising opportunity.
There are already many different companies in this space ie;
Ask Mobile GPS
Sprint Family Locator
Problem is as with most start-ups, they lack correct product management,business model and marketing. Carriers will always try and protect this via their "Walled Gardens", charging a monthly fee. Why this ultimately fails to become the gorilla is because - Apps/Content just want to be free * Note how the multi-billion dollor MVNO/Ringtone business is constantly moving off-deck; www.tonethis.com Carriers loose because their models lock out all other carriers other then themselves (think the multi-year ongoing communication issue between Yahoo Messenger,MSN Messenger, AIM Messenger,etc) . Free + Cross Platform = Scale / Category Killer most quickly.
Initial GEO locating can be done via Cell Tower triangulation, IP addressing as well as GPS. It is expected however that the majority of cell phones shipped going forward will have GPS - Thus, ultimately the service would prefer to support GPS.
So who will be in this market?
Wireless carriers (Verizon,AT&T,Sprint,T-Mobile)... They will all leverage their existing users...they will not be the victors for the earlier aforementioned reasons.
Operating System guys (Microsoft via their windows mobile,Google via their android, Apple via Iphone)
Portal guys (Yahoo via their large userbase combined with their Yahoo IM userbase)
IM Clients (AOL IM,YahooIM,Microsoft Messenger,Meebo,Trillian)
Phone Guys (Nokia,Motorola,Apple,Sony/Ericson,RIMM)
GPS & Sat guys (TomTom,Mapquest (aol),Garmen)