GPS can work stand-alone (Re: Advertising/hype)

Niels L. Ellegaard niels.ellegaard at
Tue Jul 3 15:33:40 CEST 2007

"Nick Johnson" <arachnid at> writes:

> The other idea for a 'killer mobile gps app' that occurred to me is
> some sort of dynamic-flash-mob system, where you can express
> interest in various activities, and it'll detect whenever a
> 'critical mass' of people for a given activity are close enough
> together and buzz them all. Imagine walking past a stranger and
> suddenly your cellphones buzz to let you know you're both interested
> in a quick game of something...

That sounds like great fun. Do you plan to introduce a central server
and use a critical radius of a kilometer, or do you want to use
wifi. I guess that wifi requires a fairly large userbase. Is it
possible to design a system that worked with a central server without
having the users reveal their position and identity all the time?

On a related note I think that Slashdot once had a story about a
(bluetooth based??) Japanese dating gadget that worked in a similar
fashion. They had to buy the gadget, encode their preferences, and
then wait for the unexpected buzz of finding a perfect match. They
must have used some kind of encoding to prevent abuse, but I am not
sure how it worked.

On an even less related note it could be fun to keep a log-file of the
wifi phones that stay in your vicinity for more than an hour (ignoring
public transport). Then your phone can tell you whether or not you
have met a given person before. Perhaps you can use data from the log
file to query friends for further information or a vcard. This idea
might require a lot of storage and a way to filter out routers, but it
could lead to some fun.

Enough babling...  Actually I just wanted to wish you all good luck
with finishing up the phones. I am looking forward to buying one.


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