Archives for posts with tag: location-awareness


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.


I used to live in real cities: Hamburg, London, Honolulu. Then I moved to Los Angeles. Within a few weeks, I understood that Los Angeles is not a city, it’s a conglomerate of disparate communities. The majority of Angelenos live a pod lifestyle. From home pod to work pod to entertainment pod.

We have communities within our pods but it’s hard to experience Los Angeles as a cohesive community. (Except when the Lakers are winning the NBA title.)

Creating a cohesive Los Angeles experience

I’m following closely the emerging technology of location-awareness and believe it will help create hyper-local experiences. It’s not about creating a separate, virtual reality. It’s about creating a layer on top of our human experience. Combining both thoughts resulted in this idea:

“The Los Angeles Soundscape app tries to communicate the uniqueness and local identity of each small community through music/sound composed by local musicians/artists from that specific community. The app is location-aware and will change based on your location; community soundscapes will overlap and interact in dynamic ways, yielding a unique experience with each listen. The app is best enjoyed while driving (car/bus/bike) but will respond to slower paces as well.

The vision is to create a musical Venn diagram placed over the urban landscape of Los Angeles, at any time you might multiple tracks playing in your ear, colliding in surprising ways. The roads you take determine what you hear and we expect users to discover new neighborhoods, experience the local spirit and inspiration of the specific soundscape.


The ultimate objective of this is to encourage Angelenos and visitors to explore this amazing city outside of their typical routes and tourist spots. And help transform the sprawling suburbia into a real community.”

Let’s get it done

The project was submitted to Kickstarter, a funding platform for innovative projects. It’s the perfect platform to really explore what forms art can take. The site accepts pledges starting at $1 and you can get special values starting at a pledge of $10. Even if you don’t give money but like the idea, a mention would be appreciated.

Check it out.