Sunday, September 2, 2012

Facebook to Foureyes

Along with millions of others I joined Facebook in early 2008. Facebook brought people together in ways that one-sided blog posts, discussion groups, and instant messaging never could. They succeeded by combining the best aspects of each of those older social paradigms into a single space and on top of all that they gave us Farmville. Nirvana achieved?  Hardly. We are ready for more and Facebook is not providing it.

The ultimate social interface immerses you in your current situation. It categorizes your surroundings and prioritizes them in a way that is personal to you. It then allows you to add yourself to that context for others to experience. For me the ultimate social interface would be a cross between two emerging storms: Foursquare and Google Glasses.

Foursquare knows where you are. Foursquare knows where your friends are. Foursquare knows what restaurants, entertainment venues, and activities are around you. It knows your context and it knows when you move from home, to work, to shopping, to a night out. It knows what you like and it knows when things you like are around you. Foursquare has a way to go, but they are headed in the right direction and they have the data to do it.

The other piece, the hardware, is a bit further out. Smart phones are getting there, but are still clunky and often get in the way of social interaction rather than enhancing it. The Microsoft “Really” commercial is sadly spot on. Google Glasses are a step in the right direction, but they need to look more chic and less cyborg.  They also need social context. When you are standing in line at the movies you should see that your friends liked “The Artist” and hated “Brave”. In the art gallery you should see that your sister Nicole loved the Monet. At dinner you should know that your date is way into Oscar Wilde. You should know that the snowboard you want next week for your trip to Utah is on sale at the store you are walking past.

So what do you get when you cross Foursquare with Google Glasses? Foureyes. Facebook is social in a “stay at home on Friday night typing on my computer” kind of social. With Foureyes I can actually get out and be social.

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