coming out of last year's sxsw interactive gathering, the launch that got the biggest buzz was foursquare - a mobile-centric game that encourages people to explore a city, keep tabs on friends, review businesses, and brag that you're the "mayor" of a particular place (i.e. the person who's checked into a place most frequently).
i checked it out last spring, got bored, and there it sat, unused, for months. recently, one of our freelancers became the mayor of the agency i work at, and suddenly, i was addicted. foursquare was no longer about checking into new places around town. it was about defeating the freelancer.
but in pursuit of this childish (and of course fun) goal, i saw how foursquare had grown up since last spring. take a look at the top right corner.
there you have the closest thing i've seen to Minority Report - offering a special nearby makes a ton of sense, and it's a seemless integration of digital and real world. but it's not just an ad for ad's sake. it continues to tie in playing foursquare, since you have to offer proof you're playing in order to receive the discount.
and now this: this morning, chicago's office of tourism announced a partnership with foursquare, and have created special chicago-only badges which encourage people to more deeply explore the city - the first city to do so.
great, it'll be even more addictive now. nevertheless, smart thinking, all.