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Foursquare lets other apps use its core location tech

Software will know when you're visiting your favorite store.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 1, 2017
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Foursquare has been willing to offer its place data to outside partners, but it has long kept its location awareness tech, Pilgrim, close to the vest. Now, though, it's opening things up: the company has released a developer kit for Pilgrim, letting other apps take advantage of Foursquare's positional wizardry. The tools help apps determine where you are down to the building level (without even opening the app), and let them act accordingly. A fitness app could plan an exercise routine based on where you ate, for instance, while a location-based game could adapt its experience around your neighborhood or the local store.

A handful of companies have already been testing Pilgrim in their apps, including Capital One (whose Wallet app uses it for smarter notifications), SnipSnap (location-aware coupon alerts) and TouchTunes (jukebox control at bars).

It's no secret as to why Foursquare is flinging the doors wide open: this is another big chance to make money from all that valuable location data. If app makers can not only access a treasure trove of place info but have their app automatically do something with it, they'll be that much more likely sign up for a license. Still, we're not about to knock this move when it'll likely lead to a wave of location-savvy apps.

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