Archives for posts with tag: glancee


2012 was supposed to be the year of stalking apps for the hyper-networking types: Glancee, Highlight, Banjo – you name it. Once we arrived at SXSW, we would use these platforms to meet new people, find new connections. A funny thing happened.

Nobody cared.

Besides the usual technology cheerleaders, most SXSW participants just shrugged their shoulders and moved on. It’s pretty apparent, these are total duds. The technology and philosophy behind many of these apps is sound as the concept of implicit social graphs tied to explicit graphs through background location is indeed an interesting idea. Yet, they fail because they don’t solve any problem.

Foursquare and Gowalla (and gazillion other forgotten platforms) were the hot startups a few years ago that dominated the conversation when it came to social location, focused on the check-in model. Foursquare, the winner of the first location-based arms race, with its check-ins plus deals, tips, photos and to-do lists is mildy useful. It’s good for events like SXSW where you want to connect with people in your graph. It’s a reactive app.

The next generation of location apps will be about ambient location: You could be planning on going to one place and see that your friends are at another and go there instead. The app could pull you to a different place than your original destination. Ambient location apps will have amazing data sets: Better location and social models based on location awareness mixed with the data created by such interaction theoretically could have a profound affect on user behavior. In addition, brands and retailers could find this information useful as well.

It’s clear that Glancee, Highlight and Banjo did not crack the code of background location data. (Delete, delete, delete.)

In the next two parts, I will be exploring the differences between noisy and calm technologies, followed by a glimpse in the future of ambient location platforms and the emergence of calm technologies.


It’s my fourth year in a row and I can’t wait to be part of the insanity we call SXSW once again. Here are a few thoughts while I’m prepping for the event.

  1. The conference ticket is quite expensive. The hotel is even more expensive. Add to that the flight and miscellaneous expenses, suddenly you’re talking about a real investment. While the badge allows me to see all the sessions, panels and keynotes, that’s not why I invested money going. For me it’s all about the conversations. The human connections. Moments where I learn from people what drives them, what makes them tick, what they are working on: The coffee with an interesting person that has 12 followers on Twitter. The drink with a woman who is about the change the world. The discussion about marketing at 11pm with five brilliant minds. The friendships that last.
  2. I will try to go to 2 sessions per day and be present. Not just sit there and check my email or update my status. Listen, learn and focus. If possible, I will add my voice to the conversation, not just rehashing sound bites of the speaker.
  3. Location-awareness apps will be the Twitter of 2012. Or the failed group-messaging apps of 2011. Remember Beluga? I’m pretty sure apps like Glancee or Highlight will make a big splash at SXSW but I’m skeptical how that translates into the real world of having a normal life. I use Foursquare extensively during SXSW but tend to return the remaining 51 weeks of year maybe weekly. This might be the destiny of location-awareness apps.
  4. I’m giddy about The Violet Crown, a location-aware app that let’s me explore a musical album while walking around the SXSW grounds. Instead of listening to the record chronologically, you listen to it geographically, stumbling into pockets of sound dotted around the streets which blend between each other smoothly. I can’t wait to explore it.
  5. I’m looking forward to connect at Startup Village. I love to learn about new ideas, new ways of thinking, new ways to change the world.

Most importantly, I would love to connect with you. I’m on Twitter @uwehook, text me at 323.304.1661 or just say hi when you see me.