Peer Discovery

Colin Curtin colin at
Fri Dec 8 21:35:25 CET 2006

I hope this isn't part of a thread. Comments inlined.

Joel Newkirk wrote:
> Presuming that V1 devices will lack bluetooth, what other means exist
> for one device to recognize proximity of another?
Even with bluetooth, you could only find a omnidirectional proximity - 
signal strength. You would have to coordinate with two other cohorts to 
triangulate position. That'd be neat.
> With SMS we could communicate with a few 'friends' and keep updated as
> to GPS locations, but that depends on cell carrier and manually
> inputting number/email/something.  GPRS wouldn't be useful, since most
> GPRS services (in my experience) don't allow inbound connections, and
> there'd be no easy way (short of an external server) to identify the IP
> of a potential peer device, locate it, or push data at it.
You could have everyone sign up with a centralized tracking service - 
everyone would be pushing GPS coordinates to it. Then you can give out 
your key to people you allow to track you; or (to get away with 
no-pushing-buttons) just allow anyone to see your GPS coordinates. This 
could be done through periodic GPRS or SMS/Email push.
> What about a scenario like a conference, where two individuals meet and
> want to exchange contact data? I'm thinking about people who 'beam'
> their business cards between PDAs, for example.
In the past it's been done with IRDa and vCards - but the beam was so 
tight you had to hold your phones still for a while.

vCards (over SyncML, if you'd like) can be given through SMS; it's just 
> Put two Neos in a room with no cell service - can they find each other?
>  Even with service, if nobody punches in 'codes' on each?
Oh, if only it had bluetooth.

But really the push-to-central-server could work - set it up so it 
notifies you of anyone also on the service within .01 degrees of you or 
something. Then exchange vCards with them.


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