Geomium is a new location-based service with grand plans to become the next evolution in personal communication.
“With all that Web 2.0 has brought us, Facebook, Twitter, etc, nothing had improved basic social communication over phone calls, emails and SMS”, says co-founder Ben Dowling. “People today have mobile phones that are permanently connected to the Internet, and location aware. We want to harness this technology to improve communication.”
A “Local social community”
How will Geomium work? Dowling describes it as a “Local social community that allows you to see what’s happening around you, see what your friends are up to, meet new people and hook up in real life.”
Geomium is being pitched as an evolution beyond currently popular geolocation services like Foursquare and Gowalla that offers more useful ‘real life’ functions. The current list of features includes things like “See where your friends are and what they’re up to”, “Meet cool new people near you and hook up” and “Discover great bars and restaurants in your area”.
It has to be said that there are already plenty of geolocation services that offer these features already. However, the London-based startup is focusing squarely on the UK and European markets which are arguably less well-developed than the US.
With public awareness of geolocation services still very low there’s a huge potential market to tap into. Geomium may be entering the market at the right time to learn from the mistakes of others while still having lots of ‘geolocation virgins’ to convert.
Geomium is website-based at present, with an iPhone app nearing completion. Currently in private beta and due for a September launch, it’s perhaps a little early to judge how successful the service will be, especially with the looming threat of Facebook’s own geolocation offering on the horizon. However, CEO Michael Ferguson is not worried about the social networking giant crushing Geomium’s prospects, saying that a location-enabled Facebook will actually help Geomium’s prospects.
“Facebook is about more about sharing with your existing network where as Geomium is an open location platform, providing what’s relevant to your real life. Facebook’s web app/mobile app will never be able to offer all of the location relevant content in a manner that is fully consumable, along with the rest of their features. We view Facebook adding location features as beneficial for us, because the more people are used to sharing their location, the more Geomium can be successful.”
We look forward to having a more hands-on look at Geomium closer to its September launch.