The new future, same as the old one

Seth Godin blogs on “Web4“, two moves beyond web 2.0, and describes some “deliberately provocative examples“, inter alia:

I’m late for a dinner. My GPS phone knows this (because it has my calendar, my location, and the traffic status). So, it tells me, and then it alerts the people who are waiting for me.

I visit a blog for the first time. My browser knows what sort of stories I am interested in and shows me highlights of the new blog based on that history.

I’m booked on a flight from Toledo to Seattle. It’s cancelled. My phone knows that I’m on the flight, knows that it’s cancelled and knows what flights I should consider instead. It uses semantic data but it also has permission to interrupt me and tell me about it. Much more important, it knows what my colleagues are doing in response to this event and tells me. ‘Follow me’ gets a lot easier.

I get a Cayce Pollard-like reaction to this sort of thing.

Indeed, these sort of examples have been around since Weiser proposed UbiComp (or Web4 if you like).

You’re in a new city and you need to find a restaurant with [budget constraints] [food preference constraints] {ratings from other globalised hipsters}

Ha! This isn’t so much Web4 as UbiComp 0.5.

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