Location-based are in orbit at 10,600 miles

 

Location-based
applications’ importance appears in their critical utilization in areas such as
location tracking (e.g. police systems to track criminals), traffic navigation
(e.g. e-maps to avoid traffic jams) and most importantly dispatching emergency
signals (e.g. Marine navigation). Location-based applications rely on Global
Positioning System (GPS), which was first implemented and used as a project for
the U.S Army in 1973 then was launched in 1980s for civilians.

GPS is a
radio navigation system that allows users anywhere on land, sea and flying to
determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all
weather conditions, anywhere in the world.24 GPS satellites 21
active and 3 spare are in orbit at 10,600 miles above the earth. The satellites
are spaced so that from any point on earth, four satellites will be above the
horizon. Each satellite contains a computer, an atomic clock, and a radio. On
the ground, any GPS receiver contains a computer that “triangulates”
its own position by getting bearings from three of the four satellites. The
result is provided in the form of a geographic position – longitude and
latitude – to, for most receivers, within a few meters away.

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Since
smartphones are the most worn gadget in the 21st century, GPS has
been introduced to smartphones’ owners. GPS technology has been adjusted to
account for smartphones’ hardware, with limited battery-life and delicate
sensors and receivers.

A
huge growth in the gaming applications in general and location-based gamming
applications that was mostly sensed over the recent few years and the trend is
expected to continue with more ideas and tools developing every day, which
opened a huge market and business ideas. One huge advantage of location-based
gaming is to make children and adults move while playing so they may develop
healthier bodies along with mental exercising, which maybe like a fun workout
instead of playing while sitting. Location-based games let users live in a
real-life game, more precisely they physically interact through movement as the
core gameplay action.

Mobile
Location-based Gaming is developing more and more everyday using the new
technologies available on the mobile devices including positioning, cellular
data or wireless internet and image recognition. Examples of such games include geocaching, BotFighters, Ingress, and Pokémon Go. LGB is defined
as a form of play that is designed to be played on a device in motion and
changes the game experience based on the location. To create a location-based
experience usually a connection to other devices, e.g. a server or other
players is used. LBS usage possibilities are based on the market:

A-Entertainment:

The
purpose of all games is for entertainment and having fun. However, games from a
business point of view, market usually focus on entertainment in order to generate
the highest profit. Since only recently smart phones has developed the requirements
to fulfill running games for the market. One of the games that have been published
in 2011 is Shadow Cities. In this game the player takes the role of a magician
or a regular non magician trying to kill magician character in the game. The
magician can then use magic spells to defeat hostile players or non-player
characters. The factor of the location is included in the game in the way that
the game world is an exact map of the real world and the players’ character
moves together with the players’ smart phone.

Besides
the games that are currently being published and use state of the art graphics,
text based LBGs have been developed since Botfighters got published in 2000. In
Botfighters, a Cell-ID based game, the player had to send a SMS to find nearby
players. Once a player was found, he could be shot by sending another SMS.

B-Education:

 LBGs can also
be used for educational purposes, they can be used in many possibility: it can
be used for connecting places and stories. One example for LBGs is using the
Search and Find game pattern it is possible to add the historical locations or regular
locations of a city or countries or continents and information about them into
a game. In this way the player can learn about history and geography in a
different and entertaining way.

Another example is the LBG Savannah. In this game
children can learn about the wild life and animals live, how lions live and
hunt in the African savannah and how do they survive. In the game the children
play outside and move around as their character as the lion or as other animal
that is chases by the lion on the virtual game field. The difference between a
video game that tells the same story within a virtual world and a LBG is the
closer link between game and reality in the latter. By visiting real places the
story becomes more real as the children is living the experience and thus leads
to a higher educational effect. This effect can be used to convey location
specific knowledge in a more creative and fun way, but since the knowledge has
to be related to only locations , the areas where LBGs can be used for
education are limited. In areas like history education this is usually the case
so that historical events can be told in a more lively way. While it is also
possible to convey knowledge which is not related to a location within a LBG,
it is then not possible to utilize the beneficial effects of the connection
between real world and game.

 

C-Physical Activity:

Due to the increase every day in obesity and a lack of
physical activity in games on the computers or mobiles or PlayStation, gaming systems
like the Wii or Xbox were developed to help solve this problem, but the range required
for movement for these systems is very limited. Exercises usually take place in
a small space in front of the gaming system and involve limited body movement
over a short distance for a short period the duration of the game only. For
this reason, it cannot be compared to real world sports and does not help in decreasing
obesity.  Trying to find a solution that
combines both physical activity with video games and using exercising while
playing was a challenge then came the LBGs they usually involve a lot of
movement because physical activity is the core of these LBGs. Depending on the
game the player has to move a great distance in order to continue in the game
and win.

One game that incorporates physical activity as core
of the game is Tourality. In this game players can create racing routes in the
real world and make them available to other players. For every geographical location
where a route is available a player can accept the challenge and start the
race. The race is then completed by running along the path defined by the
chosen route. Depending on the game mode the locations that create the route
have to be reached in a different order.

The common goal of all modes, however, is to complete
the route as quickly as possible. Based on the time required to complete the
route, a high score is created, challenging players to perform even better and
complete the race faster. This example shows that even though basic physical
activity is part of every LBG, it can be the dedicated goal. In the case of
Tourality it is the core of the game. However, due to the design of the
application, it still is a game and thus it does not appear to the player in
the same way as dedicated physical activity. This shows that LBGs bear great
potential in the sector of games for physical activity.   

  

 

D-Advertising

 

Location data is one of the important location-based services,
it is already been greatly used to customize advertising by using the current geographical
location of the user. This shows how significant the value of location-based
services in advertising nowadays. One option to use LBGs for advertising is to
incorporate advertising in the game. This is done by showing banner advertising
depending on the location of the player, depending on which country or region
is to customize the ads showing to him. With this method it is possible to advertise
local businesses and display offers in shops close by to the player’s geographical
location.

 

Another option is to use a LBG to influence the real
world movement of customers. For example a game could take place in a
supermarket or mall. Within the game the player could collect some sort of
coins that are hidden or scattered at different places of the supermarket or
mall. Upon completing the game the player could be awarded with a coupon or
discount to use for this shop or all shops within the mall. By offering the
game for free and a giving a benefit for completing the mission, a lot of
customers would be interested in playing the game while shopping in order to
receive the coupon or discount. The game operator can then place the coins to
direct the players new products or things that are not sold as frequently as
expected or give them discount on expensive products so it would be sold more or
to move on to the next level of the game the player has to buy something from a
specific shop or place.

 

The range of possibilities and the potential increase
in revenue by using LBGs for advertising indicate that LBGs will be used in the
future to promote new products or influence the movement of customers. There is
currently a high interest in the geographical location of smart phones users’
shows that the market volume for LBGs is rapidly increasing.

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