MICRO-LOCATION:SEE WHERE WE'RE HEADED
AppleMagazine|February 21, 2020
Far beyond helping you get from A to B or find your keys, location technology is unlocking unimaginable possibilities for the future of travel, education, entertainment, and business. With the right strategy, the tech in our pockets will make the world smaller than ever before.
MICRO-LOCATION: WHERE WE’RE HEADED

Nowadays, it seems like every aspect of our lives has been digitized. When you want to take a shower, you can open an app to set the temperature and wait for it to be ready; when you want some lunch, you open UberEats and see what’s on the menu; when you want to meet up with friends, you open an iMessage and create a calendar date for when everyone’s free.

Though our devices are more connected than ever, one area that’s still lagging behind is location. Apple has made leaps and bounds in recent years with new AI technology like Siri Shortcuts, turning on our favorite Podcast and texting the kids when we’re headed home, and with Apple Maps following its controversial launch in September 2012, but embracing micro-location technology will really change the way we live, work, and play in the years ahead, transforming the world we live in.

The more our devices talk to one another, the more intelligent they become. Whether we’re at home watching the TV or we’re in the mall grabbing a coffee, micro-location technology can determine which devices are close, our directions, distance, and more, not only creating waypoints for navigation but helping us locate items, become safer, work smarter, and more.

5G CHANGES EVERYTHING

Widespread deployment and adoption of 5G mobile networks will accelerate micro-location services and their success. With zero-latency networks just around the corner, corporations and consumers will be able to access live feeds of their homes and offices in real-time, anywhere in the world, whatever they’re doing. In the decades ahead, we’ll barely remember a world before micro-location awareness, developing a “sixth-sense” of location and function for all of our places and devices, with assets, maps and controls delivering features around you, your home, and your office. And that’s without mentioning AR and VR.

With the ongoing COVID-19 scare in China, for example, many industries have ground to a halt, unable to power back up until the virus is under control. China’s property developers and realtors, however, aren’t showing signs of slowing down. Rather than shutting up shop, they’re turning to virtual reality salesrooms and live streams to thaw a frozen market as the coronavirus epidemic keeps offices shut and potential buyers afraid to leave their homes. Using technology to bring locations closer to us is already being used, but further refinements are required to create platforms that can deliver mainstream success.

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