Geolocation serves as a pivotal feature of the SmartPlaces mobile app, acting as the technological backbone that seamlessly connects the digital experience with the physical world. It is more than just a tool for locating places; it is a gateway to a realm of interactive and personalized experiences deeply interwoven with the social fabric of the app.

Use case example: Imagine arriving at the Milan train station in Italy for the first time. You want to go to a hotel as cheaply as possible. All it takes is a post ‘Are there people near the train station who may want to share a taxi or Uber to get to the hotel?’ and pin it to the train station on the map. After arriving at the hotel, you decide to make plans with people sharing similar interests in the vicinity, so you post ‘Hi, I am hungry but new to Milan. Can anyone introduce me to a good restaurant? I can buy you a beer as thanks!’.

If you are travelling with your friends or family, you can simply switch to the SmartPlaces map view to find exciting events or discover hyperlocal up-to-date attractions recommended by people with similar interests. You also can collect virtual items like AR elements (see chapter ‘Augmented Reality’ for more information about AR and business integration).

Unlike traditional social media platforms, the SmartPlaces mobile app offers unique and up-to-date posts, along with geolocation-specific content tailored to the hyperlocal environment.

Features of the SmartPlaces mobile app include

  • Advanced location-based services: The app utilizes state-of-the-art geolocation technology to offer users real-time location-based information, including social hotspots and events. This fundamentally changes the way users engage with their surroundings.

  • Time- and radius-based social interactions: Users can create posts to share thoughts, needs/wants, or their social whereabouts within a specific geolocation. They can set the expiration time of their posts with a limit of 24 hours to ensure that the app always features up-to-date contents. Additionally, users can select the radius of social interaction to explore other users’ posts, whether it is within a local neighborhood or across an entire city.

  • Direct messaging: While posts are publicly visible, users can send direct messages to each other. They can choose to communicate publicly or privately. When direct messaging (DM) is disabled, users can only interact with posts publicly through likes or comments. Users have the autonomy to choose whether to engage in direct communication. As a result, once direct messaging between two users concludes, the function is automatically disabled, ensuring that private data is not shared without the consent of both parties.

  • Gamified educational AR content: NGOs, social institutions, schools, or local governments can place a series of virtual items that can be interacted with by users in a gamified manner. This will help raise awareness of the unique history and cultural background of the community users live in.

  • Local discovery: The geolocation feature is designed to allow users to explore their nearby surroundings. This includes the ability to explore and later purchase goods and products from individuals on the map. In the future, we will provide personalized recommendations to users based on their interests, past activities, and preferences. Whether it is suggesting a local café, an art exhibition, or a community event, the app can tailor a unique experience for each user.

  • Enhancing social interactions: Geolocation plays a crucial role in fostering social connections. It empowers users to discover and participate in local gatherings or events, connect with like-minded individuals, and even organize impromptu meetups, thereby enhancing the overall social experience.

  • Supporting local economies: The geolocation feature proves advantageous for both local businesses and communities. By spotlighting enterprises and events, it encourages foot traffic and engagement, thereby bolstering local economies. Businesses can utilize geolocation to target potential customers in their vicinity, offering promotions or information about their services.

  • Privacy and user control: SmartPlaces prioritizes user privacy and control, especially regarding geolocation services. Users have full control over their location-sharing preferences, ensuring their privacy is respected and their data remains secure.

  • Updates and notifications: The app keeps users informed with updates and notifications based on their location. This includes alerts about nearby events starting soon, friends in the vicinity, or changes in local community activities.

  • Community-driven location data: The platform encourages community involvement in enriching geolocation data. Users can contribute by adding new places or sharing their experiences, making the geolocation feature a collaborative and continuously evolving tool.

In summary, the geolocation feature of the SmartPlaces mobile app is a sophisticated, user-centric tool that connects the digital and physical worlds. It enhances user experience by delivering personalized, location-based contents and services, fostering social connections, supporting local businesses, and ensuring privacy and security.

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