Can’t have missed the news of Android, an open source, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices. Android is the flagship product and raison d’etre for the Open Handset Alliance. Many major players, including telcomms, handset makers, and chip folks. Respectable group and a full service offering…everything you need to make the gphone, without having to make it.

One of the major problems with using, and certainly developing, robust apps for mobile devices is the lack of a consistent operating system or basic standards of any sort. Nothing moves forward without standardization, and with such a nascent technology, it’s like the wild, wild west out there. Google got this and seized the day back in 2005 when they bought the company Android.

While you can’t have missed the news of Android, you might have missed Apple’s patent application for “location-based presentation.” Basically a gps-enabled media delivery method. (I figure they have the device). As I read the patent application there was a lot of lawyer-ese, but this section was pretty clear.

[0019]In order to detect the location of the computing device, the computing device can be equipped with a Gravitational Positioning System (GPS) receiver in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The GPS can detect the physical location of the computing device. If Media Presentation Environment (MPE) data has been assigned or defined for a specific location, media can be presented in accordance with Media Presentation Environment (MPE) data.

The application speaks directly to delivering content in place (although the iPhone is notable in the absence of gps). In one sense, I’m glad locative media delivery no longer lives exclusively in the realm of “location-based services” (LBS). LBS are usually linked to a scenario akin to: While strolling down Main Street, Alicia walks by her neighborhood Starbucks and her cell phone beeps/vibrates. She answers and delivered to her is a SMS coupon for 10% off a fabulous caffeine-laden beverage. What the transaction actually looks like, and what benefits pass is yet to be determined.

Voice activated navigation has come to gps-enabled cell phones. My great hope is that there is a developer out there who wants to (or would be willing to) create some code that changes usage: rather than using gps to deliver directions or offer coupons, it delivers tagged content that’s a little more meaningful, a little more engaging, a little more interactive. Perhaps even allows responses to be posted.

Right now, for our Locative Media Blues Project, we’re moving heaven and earth (and using many platforms) to get around the lack of standardization and preponderance of proprietary systems. The question is: who doesn’t get access.