Saga is a new mobile companion emerging from Seattle startup A.R.O. You can think of Saga as Siri’s little sister, perhaps. Instead of asking it questions or giving the app simple tasks (what’s the weather, add meeting calendar, e.g.), Saga is there, quietly tracking your behaviour, your location and learning about your preferences, in order to make smarter recommendations about what you should do next.
There are three components to Saga’s app: location-tracking, recommendations, and gamification. It’s hard to not see the Foursquare comparison, given those elements. However, unlike Foursquare, which still relies on the manual check-in to record your location, Saga will automatically locate you – and you don’t have to open the app for this to happen. But if you do open the app while at a venue, Saga will tell you things like how long you’ve been there, how many times you’ve visited and it will even guess at what you’re doing, which you can correct when wrong. And it will make recommendations as to what to do next.
“You’re at Home Depot? Maybe you should grab a bite at that Indian place up the road, after all, it’s lunchtime, you’re hungry and you love Indian food.”
Saga’s bigger draw will be its ability to get to know you and make recommendations. And these won’t necessarily be places to eat, drink or shop, as in Foursquare, but other things, too. For example:
– Saga could learn your commute and warn you about traffic
– It could remind you that it’s been three weeks since you took your dog to the dog park
– It could recommend a whole day’s activity based on a theme (foodie, health nut, etc.)
– It could tie your bookmarked venues to those of your friends and recommend you get together soon and where
Not all these features are live, however – they’re Saga’s potential. The app is scheduled to launch in late June or early July on iOS, with Android to follow.