Tech Beat: Social discovery dominates SXSW Conference
A big trend at this year's SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas is the ability to pinpoint potential friendships and interests no matter where you are. YNN's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Social discovery. There, you've officially been warned. It's a phrase you will hear a lot in 2012 and was certainly the big trend at the big SXSW Interactive Festival. In what's perhaps the next logical step for social networks technologically - if not potentially scary from a privacy perspective - it's essentially adding GPS to social networking in order to make you friends.
"This next wave of social media that can automatically tell you that you're standing in line next to someone who likes the New York Yankees and you like the Yankees so you should strike up a conversation that'll be a big theme this year," said Hugh Forrest of SXSW Interactive.
Several competing services like Highlight, Glacee, and Kismet use information from places like Facebook and Twitter to make those connections. Another one, Gauss, is a bit different in that it allows you to set what type of people you're looking for.
"What we enable you to do is set in that you like sailing and all the things you like about sailing and if - and only if - we find those types of relevant people around we'll send you a push notification and then just click a button and you Tweet out to that person and they'll see you have this much in common and I'm around and I think it'd be cool if we meet up," said Vidar Andersen of Gauss.
Out of all the social networks that know where you are, there's even a music app that knows your location and, in fact, requires you be in a certain location just to hear the music.
A musical group made up of two brothers called Bluebrain makes soundtracks, so to speak, for cities and they only work as you walk around those cities. One version just launched for Austin; the first was in Washington, D.C.
"So as you approach say the Washington Monument it starts with just a single cello and as you ascend more and more strings come in and then when you're finally at the top you hear drums and a choir. And to us, yes, you can't listen to it at home or in your car but that limitation to it is kinda what makes it magical," said Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain.
There's also a version for New York's Central Park.
To check out the free app, right now for iPhones only, do a search for Bluebrain music in the App Store.