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SXSW Interactive 2013

Now You See Me: The Future of Ambient Location

Imagine if you could know all about someone just by looking at them. You could remember people's names, sense when friends were nearby, and see hidden connections around you wherever you went.

Soon, the mobile phones we carry will give us these powers, and we will wonder what we ever did without them. How will this change the way we socialize, learn about the people around us, and bring others into our lives? What are the privacy implications of this shift, and where could the technology take us next?

This session will explore the current state and future promise of ambient location services, one year after Highlight's launch.

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  1. Is the technology ready? Ambient location services are just now beginning to achieve mainstream adoption. What recent shifts have enabled this? What is the current state of the underlying technology and where is it going from here?
  2. What are the use cases? Much like the Web, ambient location opens up an entirely new communication space. For the first time, we can publish things into the air above our heads that anyone around us can see. Though the technology is still nascent, people are starting to figure out how to use it and fascinating use cases are emerging. What are the biggest trends we are seeing?
  3. Where else could it go? As things like location accuracy and battery life continue to improve, what other applications and use cases might we see?
  4. What are the privacy implications? We've never been able to share with the people around us. Is it safe to do this? What are the new questions we will face around privacy? How will we protect ourselves in this new age?
  5. What happens to society when this technology becomes ubiquitous, and we can see information about anyone simply by looking at them? How will we interact with people as we go about our day? How will we form relationships, find spouses, and cultivate business relationships? What will happen to the nature of serendipity?



Paul Davison, Founder/CEO, Highlight

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Social and Relationships
  • Level: Intermediate
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