//Where 2.0 - Interview with Will Wright// - Last time I met the creator of The Sims was for the launch of Spore, and I took my friend Yoav along to speak from “artist to artist“. We ended up less talking about the game than about Charles and Ray Eames, childhood toys and illegal car racing.
Now, 3 years on, we meet at Where 2.0 in San Francisco. Wright has since left EA and founded the rather secretive Stupid Fun Club to devote more time to robotics and fusing game mechanics with real life. The power of mobile devices that act as sensors make the real world Wright’s new playground.
Although he kept mum about what exactly he is working on right now (and when we can expect to play with it), he revealed that it has broadly to do with predictive models of user behaviour. To “really understand the user” remains the toughest and most enticing challenge for Wright. This goes far beyond Facebook profiles but concerns predictive moods, emotions and schedules. Basically, Wright is trying to crack the code of “what users really want to do - before they even know they want to do it.” Be prepared, it surely will be legendary.
//Where 2.0 - Interview with Bradley Voytek from Uber// - After speaking with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in London, we meet the company’s Data Evangelist Bradley Voytek at Where 2.0 in San Francisco. Originally a neuroscientist, Brad “gets to play with the Uber data all day long” to figure out how cities move, because as he tells us “How different brain areas communicate and how people move around cities are very similar patterns”. Uber’s amazing data model includes everything from car densities to demographics, birth and crime rates, flight patterns and Foursquare check-ins. The meticulous data driven analysis lets Uber practically create a living personality of each city – a value that could be put to use for a whole new line-up of urban on-demand services. But for now, Uber’s focus is on international expansion of their townhouse . In Europe, Uber has landed in Paris – with keen plans to bring “Everybody’s Private Driver” to London very soon.
//WHERE 2.0 EXHIBIT & MAKER FAIR // — “C’MON IN AND PLAY”. We test and try 3D printers, 360 degrees sphere cams, motion controlled ping pong games, fly to Berlin via NOKIA’s 3D maps, speak with the R&D engineers behind the Google Maps equipped Mercedes Benz SLS AMG and dive into Oblong Industries’ gesture recognition software, the “g-speak SOE” (spatial operating environment) that made its famous public debut in the film Minority Report.
“O Brother, WHERE Art Thou?” — Where 2.0 is under-way in San Francisco
Where 2.0 is about “The Art and Business of Location”. Rightly so, it is pitched as the event where grassroots and leading-edge location developers intersect with the businesses and entrepreneurs who seek exactly those technologies — before they hit the mainstream. And: it is a heaven for “map-nerds” like us. Location as a concept is being baked into most major mobile services, from retail to travel, automotive and health - yet, we are only scratching the surface. The biggest trend - as mentioned by Leah Busque from TaskRabbit - is the space where SoLoMo meets Collaborative Consumption, with Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Gidsy as great examples for location oriented consumer market places. At Where 2.0, we interview the developers behind Google Maps, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook and Uber to dive deeper into the technology and trends of the “SoLoMo” business. We dare to ask: “WHERE do we go from here?” — Stay tuned for the Where 2.0 SoundCloud sessions. You can also follow the conference livestream here.