Self-Driving Luggage - Watch Out! The Suitcase That Drives Itself (WSJ, 1/9/17)

A piece of luggage chased me down a hallway. It was hilarious, crazy, stupid and useful all at the same time.
At this year’s CES tech show, while many auto makers show off their autonomous vehicles, at least three startups are showing off autonomous... carry-on bags.
All the bags use different technology to enable their auto-follow features, but the concepts are similar. You can wirelessly connect the rolling bag to a remote control, smartphone or smartwatch and the bag will follow that device while you hold a Venti iced latte in each hand. China-based 90Fun’s Puppy 1 bag even uses Segway’s balancing technology to cruise around on two wheels. Read More
Tags: Luggage, Privacy, Consumer, Airport Security
Analysis: Yes, convenience is king when it comes to new mobile apps, but sometimes it might be a stretch. Here for instance - first it has to get to baggage claim! Plus navigating around in a crowded airport full of p...ssed-off passengers will make autonomous driving car navigation  seem like childs play. And as this article says later, the technology involved may raise some significant airport security issues.

LOCATION-BASED SERVICES - The use of mobile location to provide value added services for Consumers, Businesses, and the Public Sector

Last Update: 9/13/2019


LBS Globe
Foursquare to Buy Location-Data Specialist Placed From Snapchat Parent (The Wall Street Journal - 6/10/19)

Former social-media darling aims to help advertisers track foot traffic to stores
Foursquare Labs Inc., the onetime social-media darling that has transformed into a specialist in providing location data to other companies, is buying another location-data powerhouse in a bid to dominate the business of helping advertisers track foot traffic to stores.

Foursquare on Thursday said it agreed to buy Placed, a company that specializes in measuring the effectiveness of advertising by tracking users’ whereabouts, from Snapchat parent Snap Inc....

...The deal comes two years after Snap purchased Seattle-based Placed for $135 million.

As a result of the latest transaction, Placed will be merged with Foursquare’s ad-effectiveness-measurement product and rebranded as “Placed powered by Foursquare.” Both companies help advertisers figure out how well their ads work by matching a list of people exposed to an ad to a panel of users who have opted in to have their location tracked and shared with an app, to discern whether the ads drove foot traffic to stores....

...Launched in 2009 as a social network that lets users log visits to their favorite coffee shop and share their location with friends, Foursquare pivoted toward providing location data and software to businesses after its consumer app’s growth stagnated. Today it is among the leading players in a field that provides detailed information about the way that mobile phones move through the physical world....
Foursquare gathers its first-party location data from a combination of its own consumer apps, Swarm and Foursquare City Guide, and a network of apps that use its software, such as AccuWeather and TripAdvisor. If users of these apps opt in to always-on sharing of their location—and Foursquare says about 30% to 40% of users do—they become part of Foursquare’s panel of about 25 million monthly active users who help it track store visits....

....The combination comes at a fraught time for the location-data industry as regulators around the world have begun passing privacy legislation that could make what Foursquare is trying to do harder....

For example, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation requires that companies name the partners with whom they share data. Neither Foursquare nor Placed operates its advertising business in Europe. Similar legislation has been passed in California, and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are debating national privacy legislation.

Mr. Glueck said that the company has done the work to make its practices GDPR-compliant and that he supports similar privacy legislation in the U.S. Read More
Analysis: Historically Foursquare is pursuing a "reverse" strategy from that of typical LBS providers. Back in the 2000s, most LBS companies got their start in "infrastructure", then migrated to providing applications. Here Foursquare (2 decades later) is doing the opposite - and probably wisely so. However, thestrategic wild-card is whether - and in what form - a GDPR-type privacy model becomes standard (or not) in the U.S.
Vaping "Protection" - A Vaping Ban Will Send Smokers Back to the Pack
(WSJ, 9/13/19)
Recent news that e-cigarettes may be linked to hundreds of cases of severe lung disease across dozens of states has refocused public attention on the potentially harmful effects of vaping. As many as six people have already died of severe respiratory illness brought on by use of e-cigarettes. On Wednesday President Trump announced a Food and Drug Administration ban on many flavored vaping products citing safety concerns, calling it “a new problem.”...
...There are other ways to combat teenage vaping. One manufacturer is now selling a Bluetooth device in Canada and the United Kingdom that would allow parents to turn off a vape pen, ensuring that it couldn’t be used by children at home. Unfortunately, it could take seven to 10 years for the FDA to approve this device for the U.S. Read More
  Analysis: This is not our typical article for commentary, but we were struck with the comment about how a Bluetooth device could allow parents to "turn off" a vape pen. Paint us as skeptics, but we have a HIGH degree of doubt that such a tool would succeed. Besides teens having far more technical capabilities than most parents (and thus would be able to hack it some form, or download another tool that does it for you), we suspect most parents wouldn't be able to activate it to begin with...