I'm at Digital ID World this week, along with Dan Farber, so you'll probably get a spate of identity related posts in the next few days. In Phil Becker's annual "State of Digital Identity" this morning, he mentioned that where "location" was a crutch that computer security leaned in in the past, in the future it will be a critical part of the identity data returned about a user. Location will be used to provide context for transactions and drive policy-based decisions.
Doc Searls and I were chatting last night about the emerging interest in location and mobile applications in the identity space. More and more people are using mobile devices with significant capabilities (even if they're far from perfect). These capabilities include GPS in many cases, giving real location data.
Britt Blaser introduced me to RAVE Wireless. RAVE Wireless provides mobile for colleges and universities. Bringing the mobile systems inside the tent at a university enables lots of interesting applications. While RAVE looks like a mobile company, I see them as an identity company.
Another interesting mobile identity application I ran across yesterday is Equals. You won't get much out of their Web site, but I saw a demo. Equals provides you with control over the messaging options people have to reach you based on profile choices you make. For example, you can set it so that when you're traveling, email is your preferred channel, SMS and voicemail are accepted, but voice is disallowed. Presence is a real foundational element for a lot of interesting applications. It's been long promised--maybe we'll finally get somewhere.
These are just a few examples of identity-enabled mobile applications where location plays a major role. I'm sure there are more. Feel free to share them in the comments.