It’s always interesting to see technology building on technology. Nokia’s new application, while it hasn’t instantly caught on, is one of these. By taking the fundamental concepts of Peer To Peer (P2P) file sharing Nokia has produced a piece of software that allows users to share files and messages.
Nokia Sensor relies on an always-on bluetooth setting as one of it’s primary requirements. You then need to set up a ‘folio’, which as the name suggests is a sort of portfolio, a profile of yourself. This what other mobile phone users with Nokia Sensor will come across when they first access you.
You can visit www.nokia.com/sensor to view a Macromedia Flash animation on how the application functions then download it. It’s Free :d
They can then start messaging and exchanging files with you. I’ve had the software installed for 2 months but Nokia have failed to promote the software so I haven’t come across a single user who has it.
Later, I was surprised at the kind of attention these applications were gaining in other parts of the world, which is not the case here. A piece from a documentary that was shown on CNN told the story of how youth in Middle Eastern countries use their mobile phones, installed with ‘social networking software’ to track new partners, where otherwise dating would simply not be possible the conventional way.
I did some searching on Google and came across more links. Looks like Nokia Sensor is not the only software on the market, it might be the most commercialized at the moment but there are others initiative (by private groups) such as Spontact, Speck, 6th Sense and Bluedating. Each of these have their features which may make them comparitively better or worse. Speck (http://speck.randomfoo.net/) for instance, although not a final product, is based on a ‘personal smart presence’ device which can connect to other devices of its kind or mobile phones using bluetooth. After tracking down a particular user, the device or application, if running on a mobile phone, can keep track of that user alerting you of their presence around a 100m range. Its selection system is also based around a profile. Although Speck’s website and its developers place the dating/social intermingling with strangers as a secondary function of the device, it still does not justify the design of an electronic device solely for this purpose, when an equally good J2ME implementation is most certain to work on any phone today.
Another group of developers in Switzerland, produced an intelligent location service based application called Bluelocator. To put it simply, Bluelocator makes it easy to find your friends in a crowd. It makes use of a number of central Bluetooth devices which are in constant contact of your friends, if you would like to find out where one of your friends is in a crowd or large gathering, you simply query the central bluetooth device which scans for your friend’s location (each central bluetooth device has a unique physical adress much like mobile phone antenna/repeaters) it then returns you with a physical adress.
This is an interesting line of technology, particulary in the realm of social networking where most of the ideas are still on paper and very few have entered the real world. Stay tuned.