smarter people, tradecraft

LocalMind: The HumanInt App

HUMANINT. n.abbr (jargon) Human intelligence;
in espionage, HUMANINT is information obtained from
human sources, as opposed to more technical sources.

LocalMind is a new location-based iPhone and web app designed to work in conjunction with FourSquare.  They launched expressly for SxSW and are still adjusting their functionality based on feedback.  However, as it stands, it works like this:

  • You check in on FourSquare and LocalMind (not sure if that’s done as 1 or 2 operations) at Location A and join the area network for LocalMind.
  • You become ‘available’ for questions.
  • If you have a question for Location B, you open the map, select Location B, and ask your question, “How many people are in the line-up?”
  • That question is sent to everyone who is ‘available’ at Location B and they can answer back (all anonymously, it seems).
  • Now you’ve got ‘real-time’ information from people at Location B.

As well, you can browse questions and answers already sent from other people.  Instantaneous word-of-mouth.  Pretty schnazzy idea (which likely has competitors to LocalMind).  Here’s their official video:

It seems the creators envisioned it for social uses — gathering info on the bar, the restaurant, the movieplex — but, like so many tools invented these days, I am given to wonder what other uses the public with find for it.  If the platform is there to gather ground-level information based on locations, how will people actually use that capability?

What will the innovators and the troublemakers make of LocalMind?

For more information and a demo, here’s an INTERVIEW of LocalMind’s founder, Lenny Rachitsky, by Robert Scoble.  You can also read Robert Scoble’s article on


About Angelo Barovier

I was born. I'll be around for a while. Then I won't.


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