Last night, I attended DC Tech Meetup #13 along with a few other developers from Adfero’s interactive team. The subject of this meetup, held in Chinatown, was centered around any good interactive team’s three favorite things: Hacks, Code and Creative. A cadre of speakers pitched their startups, hacks and attempted hacks in an effort to pique the interest of the crowd, but there was one standout project that caught my attention: the GE Social Fridge. The GE Social Fridge was an exhibit at this past year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) conference that leveraged FourSquare to create a physical, social experience based on the number of check-ins.
The builders of the project started with a working antique GE refrigerator and outfitted it with an electronic lock tethered to a laptop. Using the FourSquare API, the computer tracked the number of check-ins at the exhibit and, after a cycle of every 10 check-ins, would unlock the fridge revealing a fresh stock of Dr. Pepper and Pabst Blue-Ribbon. Their project was so popular that one of the founders of FourSquare, Dennis Crowley, stopped by for a cold one with the GE exhibitors.
By combining FourSquare’s inherent location-based purpose with the goal-based physical feedback of 10 check-ins opening the fridge, the utility of the often underappreciated social network gains clarity. While FourSquare already excels as a promotional tool to award intangible prizes to users for their personal check-in frequency, the GE Social Fridge changes the paradigm by encouraging groups of people rather than individuals to check-in and receive a tangible reward thus facilitating personal interaction and a group connection with the GE brand.
The GE Social Fridge was part of the GE Garages exhibit at SXSW, where event goers were encouraged to discover their inner “maker” by getting hands-on with laser cutters, injection molders and 3D printers. Overall, the GE Works campaign for the exhibit is an effort by the innovation giant to showcase the efforts and achievements of GE employees and customers.
Recent Posts By John E. Jones
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