Imagine walking into an establishment and being recognized by a digital system the moment you walk in the store. It’s a scene taken directly from Minority Report, but such ideas are not that far fetched considering some of the latest tools. For example, Foursquare in introducing new tools today that enable businesses to keep track of the people who have visited their establishment.
The tool, which was first published by the New York Times Bits blog, provides store owners with access to information about the people who attended their store, when they checked in, the frequency of attendance, and the most popular times of day. Right now, Foursquare users optionally check in to every store they visit, however it’s not that detached from the Minority Report scene (embedded below) in which Tom Cruise walks into the gap and is immediately recognized by a digital concierge.
While eye scanning systems may not be what’s used to detect our presence, our phones most definitely serve as the key to our identity. Right now Foursquare and Gowalla are leading the location race, but when it comes to identity, Facebook is the leading identity provider on the web today, with over 60 million monthly active Facebook Connect users.
For now, location based services are still a new thing to consumers, however this could be the fastest growing area in the social media space for the next 24 months. Facebook is expected to release their own location-aware service in the coming months, bringing location-based services to the company’s more than 400 million users.
While this new product has massive implications for the merging of our online and offline worlds, this is still only the beginning. Do you think we are headed in the direction of Minority Report?
Foursquare Analytics Screenshot