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Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. In doing so, a radius of interest is established that can trigger an action in a geo-enabled phone or other portable electronic device.
Geofencing allows automatic alerts to be generated based on the defined coordinates of a geographic area. A simple example might be an email or text message that is automatically triggered and sent to a user's cell phone when that user's child arrives home from school. In this example, the geofence would be a geographic virtual boundary surrounding the house. When the child's cell phone enters this area, an email is automatically sent to the child's parent by a geofence-enabled app on the phone.
Triggers do not have to happen because of a physical presence. It would be possible to establish a geofence area around a neighborhood and have alerts sent out on garbage collection days based on a schedule entered in a geofence-enabled app by the local government or collection company.