Posts Tagged ‘ Facebook ’
So here is the newest buzz word in Location Based Services……..Ambient Location. The idea for ambient location is that it will connect people with like interests and social connections (friends, relatives, etc…). The setup for usefulness goes like this: I go to a conference in Canada. I don’t know that many people in Canada so I turn on my ambient social app. The app immediately looks around for other people running the app and provides me with a list of people who I share interests with (job titles, music, movies, etc…) that the app feels as though I should network with. It also looks across my “friends” list on apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc… to see if anyone on that generated list matches others’ associates. PC World did a great little writeup of it here. Below is an excerpt from their article:
‘Ambient Social’ Apps
People in the wireless world have dreamed of an app that would help you introduce yourself to people you want to meet–such as in the classic scenario of the person in a bar who spots someone of interest across the room, and wants to meet them without going in blind.
Currently no app perfectly suits such “cold calls,” but a lot of apps at SXSW this year try to fill that purpose. One writer has dubbed them “ambient social” apps, a very fitting name: They sense people who are in your vicinity, and try to help you make real-world connections with those people.
The app that seems to be generating the most pre-event buzz is Highlight. If someone standing near you also has Highlight on his or her phone, your phone will detect them, and their profile will show up on your handset. You can see their name and photos, but you can also see things that you two have in common, such as mutual friends or favorite TV shows or bands–perfect fodder for an introductory conversation. Later, if you run into the same person and can’t remember their name (a huge problem of mine), the app reminds you.
So far, one thing the app is taking some criticism for is that it runs constantly in the background on your phone, which contributes to battery drain. Also, Highlight is only for the iPhone right now.
Tech pundit Robert Scoble was perhaps the first to bless this app, and he believes that it will be hot at SXSW (yes, I realize that this article and others will help to make it so). And Highlight is one of those apps that actually seem to do something useful and helpful in real time (the mark of a breakout app of any kind). However, the creep-out factor–and the cost to personal privacy–might offset the benefit completely. One comment at the App Store seems to sum up this concern nicely: “I’ve seen similar apps and this one really worries me because it uses Facebook–strangers being able to see my FB name, profile pic, interests and exact location is creepy. (Do you want a weird stranger saying “hi” to you?) I’m a guy and using this has ME sketched out, so I can imagine girls will be even less comfortable with it. The lack of privacy settings and use of FB info makes this really creepy.”
Another similar app, called Sonar, is also enjoying attention, and it is available for Android phones.
UberlifeUberlife (see the screenshot at left), takes a slightly different approach to the same scenario. This app lets you start instant “hangouts” for events you attend or places you visit. For instance, if you pop into a bar for an after-work beer and need some drinking buddies, you can start a hangout and broadcast your request to your network and to the Uberlife user community. Somebody who is in the neighborhood might come and join you. If a whole group of people shows up under one roof, you get points in the apps. You can also post about the event while it’s happening, creating a record that you can revisit later. If you meet some new people you like, you can ask them to hang out again.
Of course, the huge problem with these apps is that they will help you only if your friends–and more important, the people you want to be your friends–are also using the app. I can see an app debuting in future SXSW shows that leverages a mobile platform everybody already uses (such as Facebook mobile) to help users make connections with anybody in the bar who has a smartphone.
Another slant on this idea would be an app that can detect and integrate with any mobile app that contains the personal information, common friends and interests the user wants to make “public”. So the person in the bar using the app could get help making a connection with someone across the room, regardless of what mobile social app that other person happens to use.
So there ya go. Another pretty cool little app that could very easily be ported over into Location Based Policing. Police use a software interface to identify those around them based off their associates (criminal) and their interests (criminal history/activity/intel). I like it.Continue Reading »
Location Based Policing (LBP) at its core involves a police officer with a GPS enabled device being given location appropriate data. HOWEVER, on this forum I am going to bring up several things that exploit the location of the criminal to law enforcement’s advantage.
The first product I am going to talk about is “Touch Graph”. Touch Graph is a FREE app that uses Facebook data. If your agency is not using and maintaining a Facebook account for intelligence purposes, then you are behind the proverbial 8-ball so to speak. The criminals of today use Facebook as a main communication and networking tool for their criminal enterprises. In addition, they also freely give up all sorts of information pertaining to their friends and themselves. Touch Graph can be utilized to do some basic link analysis over your entire friend database.
Touch Graph will assign “strength of relationship” factors to everyone you are friends with. It will visually link every person to every other person. Let me show you…..
This visual representation is telling me several things. 1) There are distinct groups at play here 2) Who is the stronger of the relationships between groups 3) The location of these networks
Touch Graph can show geographic ties to different groups. For example, if I was investigating a gang that spanned all over Nebraska then I could load this app and see where the different members lived and who they were friends with. This might also allow me to see who the key figures were and to find a ”weakest link” for exploitation. This is a powerful tool.
(one thing to know about this app….you have to be friends with a person before you can access their data. This has never been a problem as you can create a “perp” account for this purpose.)Continue Reading »