Thursday, January 27, 2011

The next wave in location? "Don't Eat At ____"

I just saw this "extension" for Foursquare called "Don't Eat At___." If you are in New York, it will send you a notification if the restaurant you just checked in to has scored poorly on Health Inspections, hopefully before you order your meal.

I have toyed with Foursquare now and again, but ultimately don't use it because it seems mainly an exercise in vanity. I don't feel compelled to tell everyone where I am, and frankly I'm rarely in very cool places. Most of the people I know also don't use it, and if I want to catch up with someone, I'm much more likely to pickup the phone than track them down online and appear in front of them.

Last year I remember reading a bit on passive location awareness, and how potentially this could help with things like ATM security - the thought being your phone is usually with you, and if it's not near the ATM that is requesting money from your account there's probably something funny going on. Great in theory, but persistant location sharing is still a privacy concern for many. This seems to be an early example of what the benefits of location could be. I'm no longer checking in for vanity, but rather getting utility out of the check-in. I'd love to see more services embrace this mentality, and could see it working for a great range of situations.

Sadly, I'm not in NYC at the moment and can't try it out. I'd enjoy hearing anyone's first hand experience.

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