PC World has an overview of Loopt, which will begin testing location-based advertising via CBS Mobile in the near future. What’s notable about the service—aside from the fun concept of triangulating location via cell towers—is that Loopt and CBS Mobile “seem to have made most of the right choices for privacy.” That includes the service being opt-in instead of opt-out, and no personal data (such as account info or phone number) being sent back upstream. The targeted ads replace existing ads as well, so there’s not a location-based spammy increase in advertising with the service. This is the kind of advertising we “like”—localized, relevant, and anonymous on our side of things.
If you buy groceries at ShopRite, you might start seeing special shopping carts with little monitors attached later this year, when Microsoft and MediaCart roll out a new loyalty program that tracks shoppers’ purchases and displays targeted advertising while they shop. Ostensibly, the monitors will also provide useful information, such as the location of products within the store, access to recipes, and personalized shopping lists. We’ll be curious to see whether any of these services are actually implemented in a useful way or are just used to disguise the advertising.