Foursquare started out as a game, of sorts.
Friends would check in at real-world locations to tell each other where they were, and earn points by doing that a lot. All the while, those users taught the service — and other users — which bars, restaurants and so on were good.
Today, Foursquare makes most of its money from selling that data to big companies, calling itself a “location intelligence company.” But as co-founder Dennis Crowley and CEO Jeff Glueck explained on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, they haven’t stopped thinking about everyday users.
“Imagine a friend is walking alongside you,” Crowley said. “Can we make a personality like that, that talks to you in that sense? It’s not 30 years out. We’re going to be playing with this stuff a year from now.”
“I want to make that Scarlett Johansson that whispers in your ear, but it’s all about local places and local discovery,” he added. “I want to replicate the experience of walking through the city with a friend that knows the city inside and out, and I want to make that for millions of people.”
Crowley stepped aside as CEO in January to let then-COO Glueck take the top job and oversee Foursquare’s transition into enterprise and advertising products, even as it continued to operate two consumer-aimed apps: Swarm, a re-christened version of the old check-in game, and Foursquare, which recommends places to go.
Glueck noted that the company may be interested in visual cues delivered by augmented reality, in addition to audio. But he said the way we receive push notifications on our phones today will need some serious rethinking.
“In your glasses or EarPods or watch, some kind of filtering will have to happen,” Glueck said. “All these apps are pushing notifications at you. Certain devices are more personal, and you’ll have to have a high standard of whether you’ll want to be interrupted.”
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.