Adam Greenfield, Kevin Slavin, Matt Cottam and Ben Cerveny, pictured above respectively from left to right, are four leading designers, thinkers and writers in the very it domain of ubiquitous computing. The last time the four men had been in the same room together was in 2009, at Picnic in Amsterdam. For various reasons, they were all in Amsterdam this weekend.
This picture was taken at Matt’s home, where he created an impromptu film studio to interview each other for a possible documentary on the current state of ubicomp. When asked what his favourite example of a ubiquitous device was, Adam interestingly enough answered “Foursquare”. Interesting, because Foursquare is not an object, but software.
Adam repeated more or less what he elegantly explained on the Urbanscale blog recently, that what he enjoys most about the popular check-in service - it currently has 20 million users worldwide - is that it encourages two almost diametrically opposite behaviours: exploration with the awarding of badges, and loyalty with the crowning of mayors.
I believe this is a deep insight in the working of Foursquare.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay around to hear what Ben and Kevin would say later tonight, but I can live with the fact this only leaves me with more to look forward to.
Kevin adds: “It’s worth reinforcing that Matt is the only person in the room who lives in Amsterdam, and that AG, BC and I all arrived here under wholly different auspices. If only someone could develop software so that we could see what city our friends are going to be in soon, I’d be happy to … oh, wait.”