Forget Manual Check-Ins, Automatic Is The Way Of The Future For LBS Apps

At VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference yesterday, CEO of location-based game Booyah, Keith Lee, said that manual check-ins to location-based services could be on their way out, to be replaced by automated check-ins.

While check-ins have become the defacto method for notifying a venue and friends that you’ve arrived, there’s been a lot of talk about so-called “check-in fatigue” caused by users having to manually check-in to numerous LBS services every time they arrive at certain locations.  Automatic check-ins could begin to solve that problem, and make for much more effective use of a combination of LBS services.

Lee suggests that location-based applications and services could be more useful if checkins are performed automatically and users are offered interesting services such as discount coupons based on their vicinity and interest- a concept called geo fencing.  “Auto checkins can also become useful if, for example, I specify Starbucks as one of my favorite spots and am automatically checked in whenever I am there — thus making it easier for the company to offer discounts based on number of checkins,” explained Saad Fazil of VenturBeat.

What should be interesting is when other devices enable third-party apps to collect information in the background, like the iPhone 4, combined with other things like Facebook’s upcoming entry into the LBS space and the continued domination of LBS providers like Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and Booyah.  The latter obviously already has something up its sleeve, and the other will likely follow.  Automatic check-ins are the way of the future, though it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.