Social wayfinding and spending – Waze and Hyves

Waze is a wayfinding app with a difference, in that it’s maps are crowd sourced and are updated in real time (certainly something that Nokia and Google struggle to keep up with). Their approach is to ensure that their maps become generated by their user’s GPS trace as they drive. Their platform is drawing the maps from where their user’s go. They even encourage further exploration of unchartered territory by building games to find prizes and gain points, even having a badge in Foursquare. Its a fresh way to look at mapping and the community of users are apparently really engaged with the product.

On the face of it it looks a good way to ensure accurate maps and you can see municipalities and fleet management companies benefitting from an app that tells users of traffic jams in real time and can divert them to quicker routes. However when asked about safety, legality and the environment (encouraging users to drive for no other reason than to find cherries and gain points) the answers were a little vague and evasive. No blame there, but something they need to be well aware of with these issues creating real concerns from media focus and government concerns.

Hyves has been aware of Facebook moving in on all countries and threatening to dominate the social space. They have realised that their unique selling point is their ability to talk locally. In the Netherlands it is currently outperforming Facebook by providing relevant and timely local information. Their aim is to integrate this into society as much as possible and a very good place to start is to enable e-payments through profiles that have been cash-enabled by a user depositing an amount in an account. By pre-loading an account linked to the Hyves profile, one can easily pay for a bar tab or order food in a restaurant that accepts these payments.>The payment is linked to the user’s bank account that asks for verification through SMS before it is processed. This ensures a degree of security but also convenience. The system enables a user to order food and pay for it before going to a waitress. The concept here sounded really good but unfortunately we couldn’t see how this would operate in practice due to video problems over the network.

However Rabobank is backing it and it seems an excellent idea, and moves us even further towards the cashless society. Next up it’s the Web of Impulses, Mobile health made social and Ebay Classifieds….

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