Making Social Networking Physical
by Kate Enright
So we’ve all heard of online “friend finders”, dating sites and of course our favourite social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. Millions of us use these tools to connect with people every day. We log in to our online profiles, we search for people we know, barely know, just met, haven’t yet met…and we find out everything there is to know about them. from their physical appearance to their likes and interests even their relationship status (don’t deny it).
But what about taking this data and using it in the physical world? Making all this information available as part of our reality. Well we can now do just that with a flexible little wristband called Amico. Amico was developed by a startup called Trovare as a way of bringing Facebook into the real world. All those online connections and details we have access to can now be used in real life to help us connect with people who have the same interests as us and face-to-face too (imagine that)!
The wristband connects with an app on your phone and helps you to locate like-minded individuals nearby, whatever your location. The phone app connects with your Facebook account and when you hit the streets it automatically locates people with profiles like yours. When you get physically close to someone else using Amico - that it sees as compatible – the wristband vibrates! Cool right? I know what you’re thinking, this could be a little, well, stalker-ish, well the best part is that you’re not told who the person is! So the fun bit is finding out who. It’s all about mingling, chatting, and put yourself out there because if the band is vibrating you may have just found your soulmate. Or so they guys at Trovare claim.
So how does it work? Well the wristband uses Bluetooth 4-enabled technology in order to do its thing. It synchronizes with the mobile app that aggregates your Facebook profile. The details are saved to the whristband’s internal memory and it will then broadcast an overview of your profile at a distance of around 50 meters. Other people who are wearing a wristband will also broadcast their profile, putting their details out there. When two profiles that are deemed to be a good match – using the Amico algorithm – come close together, the vibrating begins and so does the frantic search for your new BFF!