Going for the first time to SXSW has given me the ability to realize how Intelify, our technological platform, is in comparison with others. I wanted to compare Intelify´s approach to connect things in the physical world to the Internet, using cards, QR Codes and even NFC tags with mainstream approaches based almost-solely in mobile apps to be downloaded and be used while in the physical world like Foursquare or Highlight just to name a couple of them
Long time ago I bet for ubiquitous interfaces. It was back in 2003 when I realized how always on connectivity and interfaces in the real world where going to dissappear and how the way we were interacting with technology was going to be substituted by other type of interfaces not based on rigid screens tied to a physical place.
The irruption of iPhone in 2007 changed completely the battlefield for interfaces´ devices and it was the very first sample of the new era coming. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of developers began to develop mobile apps, not just for the iPhone but for other platforms like Android or more recently Windows 8. Due to its gratuity and the existing mobile market (more than 400 millions smartphone users) there are millions of apps available for users. With that abundance, how to differentiate from the others millions of location-based apps in the market?
In the attention economy we live, you need to leverage it. I had the opportunity to talk to one of the founders of a mobile games development agency with +60 workers and the statistics were pretty clear. In a month, average mobile user uses 30 apps but just use in a regularly basis 4-5 (Email, Facebook, Twitter, and 2 other more). To compete to be the 4th or the 5th is almost impossible for almost every startup, unless you have one of the greater marketing budgets in the world.
Besides, user experience is not always the best. In my opinion most of the social-location-mobile apps are not human-thought. Let me tell you an example. Just to say to your social networks that you are at one place, you need to take out your phone, click on an icon, open-up the app, search the place where you want to check-in to finally checkin. Take 30-60 seconds of your time to say that…this is not thought for humans!
Intelify´s approach is simplier: just wave, swipe, tap your phone/card by a tag or little device in the place where you want to checkin, and that´s it. No battery drainage, no more look for places, no more time wasted in absurd actions that diminish interactions in the physical world. I did not see any different approach at SXSW….well, ours. Besides, when doing that, you can also receive emails in your inbox with information on the place you are visiting (historic information if a historical landmark; power point presentation on a company in an exhibitor´s hall, etc.)
Our approach is much more straight. You don´t need to interact with a mobile app with dozens of features. You need to interact in the physical world with actions already configured. Want to checkin? Just wave your card/tap your phone; Want information on the event? Just tap your phone.