Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Where are you? Should be a thing of the past

The other day i was walking aimlessly in the forum mall having nothing much to do. I was hoping to meet some one I know there so that I can kill some time talking to them. Also I was not very interested in a regular time pass conversation, but was more in a mood to discuss technology.

I wished if there was a barcamp social network site on my mobile phone which showed me if any of the barcampers are around wandering like me. I decided to give it some thought. My idea could be achieved in two ways. It could just be a status update on the user profile "I'm at forum and have nothing to do", and me seeing it. The other way could be the phone finding my location and showing it next to my name, so that I don't have to update my status all the time. At the same time it should not show up when I'm with my girl friend.

Say I'm at barcamp and I have no idea if my friend ashwin has reached the venue coz I need to get my comp connection to the wifi. Ashwin is the regular wifi trouble shooter at bangalore barcamps. I look at my phone and it says ashwin is at the venue and I go in search of him. But when ashwin is at home I should not have an idea where he is unless he decides to broadcast that info. But for now I would be happy if it can broadcast specific public places or gatherings like barcamp, conferences or concerts. May be otherwise it can just show my city info.

The mashup program which I'm talking about, may be should use Google Maps with My location which can find my current approximate location using the information broadcasted from cell towers. Upcoming could be used to find out if any event is taking place at my location. May be some other directory could share the information about public places like malls and cinemas. Some kind of a user generated info directly into the program could be also allowed. Like if the map is showing my current location as silk board junction, I should be able to tell the program that's where my office is. Information gathered from all these sources would make up a meaningful info which could help in broadcasting where am I at the moment. It could also send out a Tweet when my location changes.

Am I making sense? Or am I dreaming too much. Anyways I have decided to buy a new phone and am constantly in search of programs which could broadcast my location without using GPS. Loki is one service which is currently coming close to my wish.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure about what is a barcamp. But are you expecting a subsection of something like this ... ?

Unknown said...

Barcamp is nothing but a community meetup. I just took it as an example of a public event i go for. thats all. The service i'm talking about is not barcamp specific or anything. The public event can even be a marriage function :-)

Anonymous said...

I got you. Any 'shared' Calendar application like Google calendar is doing that now. Correct me if I am wrong. May be we need to put nice UI and some extra logic on top of it.

With GPS & Maps it is possible to automatically advertise your location to your friends/family members, it is dangerous though :-) (There are such shoes in the market for teen kids). In the later case we need to manually link events with locations.

Jai said...

FinaFriggingly you've decided to go for the new phone ;-). About time too!

As for the idea, well I have my reservations about automatic status updates. Call it what you will, but I'd prefer to call up people and let them know where I am and what I'm in the mood for, rather than have a program do it for me.

Having said that, I am also very fascinated with the way we come up with ideas to delegate our work to the systems that we've built. Constantly evolving or rebuilding it to suit our needs.

Umesha, lets discuss the feasibility of building this on our own.