Katheryn started off the session giving us geo location coordinates that only a machine would love. Her followup to this was the context matters; our location around a place and who is around that space with us. There is also excitement around discovery with geo. An example could be geocache games which created back in the old old black and white LCD “latitude and longitude” GPS units and have worked their way into the App stores of the iPhone and Android handsets.
Although location is in its infancy, Foursquare has opened their APIs and sites like gatsby.com are using location data + user preferences to send SMS messages to those who are in proximity with one another and could potentially benefit in meeting up in real life. While this leads to privacy issues, it is opt-in and could let “regular strangers” connect and communicate in ways that they might night work up the courage to in the physical world.
The rumor at SXSW is that attendance for Interactive badges is up by 40% from last year, which is pretty amazing when you consider that the 2009 attendance was 10,741. So the amount of people decending on Austin, TX to see the next Twitter or Foursquare make an appearance is around 15,000. It’s crazy to think that Foursquare just debuted last year and now it is the most talked about product so far at this year’s event (granted, things are just getting started.) Speaking of Foursquare, we’ll be covering their SXSW news, as well as that of what we consider to be their main competitor, Gowalla, in the next few days.
It also looks like some of the big names we’ve seen in the past are back in 2010 to take part in the festivities. I saw that Pepsi, Microsoft and Aol were still building their booths this morning.
Braden Young is covering SxSW 2010 for Gear Live. You can follow him on Twitter at @bradeny. Hit him with a tweet if there are any events or sessions you’d like him to hit up and cover!
Foursquare has just released version 1.3 for their iPhone app, which now notifies you with a buzz when friends are nearby, via push notification. Foursquare allows you to check-in at different locations, and lets your friends know where you are (this also includes optional Twitter pinging.) What makes this app stand out is the badges system. This system awards you for your activity, whether is checking in to a new place or returning to it for the 100th time. Competitive souls can find subtle amusement by attempting to dethrone majors for locations – people that have been to a specific location many times. If you haven’t tried out Foursquare yet, I highly recommend it.
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