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Google’s Mayer Envisions Future Of Location-Based Services At SXSW
Austin’s beloved Amy’s Ice Cream got a shout-out from Google’s Marissa Mayer at the SXSW Interactive conference today, as the new head of local shared her vision for a future enabled by the search company’s technologies.
In the scenario Mayer described, she was at Amy’s — which she’d visited for the first time last night — and Google surfaced, on her mobile phone, all of the recommendations from various services, such as Foursquare.
Hotpot Recommends Ice Cream
“Hotpot can tell me that Amy’s Ice Cream is good,” she told the audience. “What I thought was interesting is that every rating and review, on every service, said ‘get the Mexican vanilla with strawberries’.” What if your phone could detect that you were at Amy’s Ice Cream, and surfaced that information to you, she speculated.
“Further in the future, what could we do with mobile technology using a lot of the information that’s already there?” she told the audience. “How can technology and that power of ‘here’, help make things smoother. How can we make smartphones even smarter in the future?”
Mayer told a story in which she was hurriedly packing to come to SXSW but had forgotten to check the weather, so she had to go get her phone to determine what kind of clothes to pack. Then, she was stuck in traffic, afraid she was late, and then discovered when she arrived at the airport that her fight was 20 minutes later than she had thought.
Your Phone Will Know Everything
Then, she laid out a scenario in which her phone, through her calendar, knew that she was speaking at SXSW, and could help her find a flight (referring to the controversial acquisition of ITA Software, no doubt). Then, it could show her the weather to help her pack, and, through traffic and mapping information, advise her when she’d have to leave to arrive at the airport on time.
“There are a lot of things that can be pulled together to make us all that more efficient,” she said. “There’s really something profound happening around location and mobile technology.”
Unrelated but interesting… Mayer talked about a feature called “route around traffic” that was added to Navigation earlier this week. Since then, Google calculated that it has saved its users 2 years of time every day since launch, in aggregate. That’s $250,000 in fuel costs saved because people aren’t sitting in traffic, Mayer said.