The boffins of MIT have brought us a new creation, inspired by social networking success of the MySpace/ Facebook/ yadayada crowd.
Its what I call a back-to-basics approach, making social networking return to its offline roots.
A location-based application for “friendspotting”, iFind wants to help you find your friends anywhere, using data from WiFi access points to determine your location. Carlo Ratti, the director of the MIT lab that developed this, said he hopes this technology can help people “make serendipitous connections” in the real, physical world, in addition to keeping track of them. It seems the first market to try this out is the MIT college community of students, professors and staff. Talk about eating your own dog food, lets see how their home crowd takes this intrusion of privacy.
Some key summaries of this service are:
- opt-in, permission-based users willing to experiment with the service
- users will determine their own iFind network of friends who can locate them (sounds pretty standard so far)
- location data not to be stored on any database
- Java-based application run off laptops for application to work