Google Now was one of the first big things that came to my attention where a person doesn't have to ask things, but is presented information that will likely be helpful. It has been available on Android for a while and it'll automatically pop up notifications about traffic, meetings, flight status, etc based on context of time and place. It's more than just neat, it turns your phone into a really helpful tool without having to dig around in different apps. The iOS version of this just added notifications so it should become similarly useful for iPhones.
With the recent launch of iOS7, there are some similar features built in which will automatically add in useful info about traffic, weather, etc. I see similarities with what Google Now is providing, but perhaps not as useful. It was definitely nice to see traffic info pop up on my lock screen over the weekend telling me how long it would take to get home.
So I think the charm in this is going to finding the right balance of presenting this info when people are more likely to want to see it or find it useful. Just like search ads on google or paid ads on facebook, if the ads are relevant to what the person might already be interested in, then the marketing message will go over a lot better.
Now all that being said, here's a really interesting piece about where this might all be headed:
This isn't just about building an app. It requires connecting a lot of dots between the marketing department, the app builder, as well as the network and other hardware.
I'm really interested to see how this plays out. If this is done well, I fully expect to see this implemented at shopping malls throughout the country. There are already apps which different mall owners have, but I've never seen a reason to download them. If these apps turn into shopping services which can not only help guide shoppers around the mall, but point them to great deals, it can be a win-win. Again, the charm here is going to be in finding the right balance between the marketing message and the non-marketing, but useful information that shoppers may need. And that balance will be different for each shopper young, old, window-shopping, or ready to buy.
What do you think about this stuff? Is it heading too fast to that Minority Report marketing hell? Is it something you'd find useful?