Geofencing: The future of Geo-Location Technology
Geo-location technology is allowing mobile apps to do incredible things, and geofencing is the next step in this useful and groundbreaking innovation.
Four Properties Behind Geofencing Programming
Geofencing is the use of GPS and local radio-frequency identifiers (such as Wi-Fi nodes) to define a region of interest around a location. The geofence is paired with an application that responds to this boundary of interest in a way that’s positioned by the program itself. According to developers from Google, each geofence program has four properties: ID, name, collection ID’s, and polygon. The ID is a string of code used to refer to a geofence and call various methods and purposes. The name is a user-defined string of code that describes the geofence. The collection ID’s calls various methods and purposes to which the geofence applies while the polygon specifies the geofence’s region.
Geofencing Applied to an Increasing Amount of Environments
One of the first uses of geofencing was with cattle. Farmers would equip a herd of cattle with GPS units. When the herd of cattle would move out of the geofence set by the rancher, the rancher would receive an alert. Today, geofencing has moved from expensive commercial use to the realm of consumer application. Additionally, geofencing is becoming free for developers to implement into their applications for the consumer to use with their hardware (smartphones, tablets, etc.).
Today, there is a plethora of applications that implement geofencing. One of the growing uses for geofencing is for safety. For example, Android 5.0 recently came out with a feature where one could disable their device from locking when within a range of the home Wi-Fi node. Also, smartphone control is another area where geofencing is rapidly growing. For example, the app Skylark pairs with several smart thermostats which can manage heating and cooling based on when one leaves and enters their house.
The “IFTT” System Enhances Geofencing
A new idea being developed under geofencing is the IFTTT (If This Then That) system. This more complicated system allows users to set up scenarios with their applications such as “If I leave my home at 8am, then turn off all of the lights in my kitchen.” IFTT has not been applied to other applications other than the official IFFTT app, but many apps will soon begin to implement them.
The Takeaway: Geofencing Rapidly Growing in Consumer Apps
Geofencing is rapidly being implemented into many of the apps available for consumers to purchase on the iOS and Android market. As geofencing becomes more popular among the average consumer, geofencing will be applied to more and more devices and environments. This means users will no longer need to think about turning off the lights when they leave their house. However, users should keep in mind that it is important not to rely heavily on geofencing or become too dependent on technology. A technology device that, like all other technologies, is not completely error-free.