Rich Local & Social Experiences
Jointly presented by Meetro and PlaceSite, this session explored various locative media developments. The central question posed, ‘Who are you NOT meeting right now?’, is particularly appropriate to the conference environment.
Location as a principal factor is deconstructed as one of the driving factors in community. Regarless of the mediated nature of networked communities, physical presence and location largely shape our participation in the places we work, live and play. Interestingly, realtime social networks with a community dimension were seen as a critical carrier of locative media in the future.
Interestingly, IBM’s experience of collaborative media in the enterprise has been very successful, but organising locative meetings, even in the same city, required ad-hoc organisational mechanisms that didn’t exist – Meetro addressed this need for IBM.
Meetro has become a ‘neighbourly’ tool, enabling people within proximity to share resource – can i borrow your vacuum?
Amongst the lessons learned by PlaceSite and Meetro in launching their services:
- User’s options to represent themselves through photos or avatars.
- Proximity drives meetups, particularly serendepitous, spontaneous meetings within a few blocks.
- Absolute location shouldn’t be revealed; abstracting to a radial ‘aura’ around an actual location is more desirable.
Where Meetro is tied to the person, Placesite is largely linked to actual locations – this is a useful distinction in models pursued by various locative media.
Placesite’s location-centric approach enables existing social boundaries to be extended into locative media and ensures an intrinsic community is related to an actual location. Placesite also offers router code which can PlaceSite-enable a WiFi hotspot; partnerships are in place with wireless providers Sputnik and Wavestorm.
Longer term plans for PlaceSite include plans to address housing developments, conferences, muniwireless zones, an open API and the general transformation into a platform and network provider.
As we consider FON-enabled Wanadoo Liveboxes to create a public wireless network for Wanadoo broadband subscibers, a Livebox+FON+PlaceSite combination offers a more compelling user proposition. Each Livebox could be transformed into a hub for local users, advertising, organisations, media and companies.
A Wanadoo Placebox could illuminate neighborhoods with connectivity and information – a digital lamppost!