With mapping firm Esri’s new software development kit, launched Wednesday, developers can create complex, polygonal “geofences” that trigger actions when people enter or leave them.
A restaurant chain could, for example, use its app to send a push notification to customers that walk close to one of its locations. Or it could notify employees when a customer who ordered delivery arrives to pick up her meal.
Esri snapped up location-focused startup Geoloqi in late 2012. The new “Geotrigger” SDK is the fruit of that acquisition: It enables iOS and Android developers to add more sophisticated location-based features to their mobile applications.
“Geotrigger Service opens up a whole world of use cases, from stores wanting to engage customers to cities wanting to release an app to send civic alerts, local event information, or tourism info,” said Amber Case, Geoloqi’s founder and head of Esri’s R&D center, in a statement. “Create an invisible button on a map, and when your phone gets within that button — that invisible region — something will happen. Your phone could even turn the lights on in your home as you pull into the driveway, and turn them off when you leave.”
Esri also promises that its SDK minimizes the amount of time GPS and cellular chipsets need to be active, minimizing battery usage. Battery drain has been a barrier to the adoption of location-based features in mobile apps.
The service costs developers a tiny amount per geotrigger event. For more details, check out the video below.