Why Ultrabooks need GPS
Ultrabooks offer extremely mobile computing with few of the sacrifices needed to move to a tablet. But there’s one big omission from most manufacturers so far – GPS. In this article, I’ll explain why that filling that gap could mean big bucks for the manufacturer who does it first.
Location-based services are on the rise. And not just in refining your search through Google: we’re talking a whole new era of specialist content, delivered to you continuously. Windows 8’s Metro interface uses a ‘tile’-based UI that constantly updates depending on your location and situation. And it’s pitched squarely at the upcoming ultrabook market. Beginning to see the necessity?
But there’s more than just location-aware Twitter updates on the line here. The rise of location-based companies like Yelp alongside the boom in smartphones and tablets is no coincidence. They are becoming an indispensable way of experiencing the very best in the world around us. Those equipped with Yelp on their mobile devices will know what I mean. At your fingertips, there’s a knowledgeable guide to anywhere, right where you need it. And, they can tell you how to save money too. All based around your location.
Any respectable mobile device within the tablet or smartphone category has seen that location-based services are a big consumer draw. And there’s no reason why ultrabooks shouldn’t adopt that ethos, too. If the ultrabook crusade wants to be a serious challenger to the tablet market – and that’s what they’re claiming by and large, right? To back up the claim that there doesn’t need to exist that ‘third’ category between laptop and phone they need to start thinking about all the tiny little tablety benefits that those slate-like devices offer people. And GPS is a big one.
Why would you use an iPhone as your TomTom, when you could use your iPad? Why use your Galaxy S as a map, when you could use your Nexus 7? There’s more to the benefit than just screen size – although that in itself is more than enough to define a product category.
Back when I worked for a major consumer electronics manufacturer, I met a salesperson who was frequently asked ‘isn’t the iPad just a bigger iPod Touch?’. His answer was usually ‘yes. And why would that be a bad thing?’. And he has a point. Ultrabooks are looking to capitalise on a market that’s already market by ultrabook-ish concepts .Their main selling point is their adaptability. And that’s why they need GPS, and ASAP – because otherwise, they’re unable to compete in a seriously prominent part of the mobile device market.