Customized, location-based services envision greater user-control for the “active reconstruction” of urban space. These services are intended not only to ascribe meaning to space, but also to deliver new meaningful spatial experiences for users. From navigation and the “nearest best,” to the predictive recommendations “with rich local content that matters the most to you here and now” (Altman, 2010), these services have evolved into technologies capable of ‘learning’ users’ search and movement histories, to further customize and recommend, and thus impact users’ future preferences. This paper argues that customized services are conveniently promoted as an appropriate personal management tool and a practical support for contemporary requirements, to constantly construct one’s life narrative within a broader discourse of “calculus of risk,” and its “predictable security in the face of an open future” (Beck, 1999). The predominant logic of efficient use of one’s surroundings with an increasing dependence on supporting technologies corrupts assumed personalized notion. Who, in fact, benefits the most from the anticipated efficiency of daily time-space routines? It is precisely through these notions of personalized, custom-based calculations and predictability that the “art of government” is employing its tactics for a self-regulating system of well-behaved citizens, rather than setting laws to arrange things for a “suitable end” (based on Foucault’s concept of “governmentality,” 1978).
|Keywords:||Predictability, Location-based Services, Urban Space, Efficient Spatiality|
PhD Candidate, Communication and New Media Department, National University, Singapore