I've come across two examples in the past few days of how real-time location tracking is beginning to be embedded in the technologies we use and every day experiences. Reading up about the new Foursquare redesign led me to this piece about how the app now tracks users even when the app is closed (Facebook also track you when you have their app open, and have an optional 'Nearby Friends' feature that will let you continuously track friends, and aggregates geo-tagged data about you).
And whilst working on a project around the theme of convergence for a client, was reminded of Disney's MagicBands. In addition to RFID technology that enables short-range communication at touch-points (faciltating room entry, fast passes, park admission, charging stuff to your room etc) the MagicBand also includes a long-range radio transmitter which can send information to receivers located throughout the resort. This, says Disney, allows them “to deliver personalized experiences…as well as provide information that helps us improve the overall experience in our parks.” But essentially it enables them to access extremely useful data on customers, monitoring the location and activities of its guests in real-time. I can't help but think that the potential value of this kind of data means that we will inevitably see a lot more of this kind of thing and end up being tracked by all kinds of organisations.