June 25, 2011

Smartphone App Helps Locate Friends, Make New Ones

A new smartphone app aims to add some old-fashioned socializing to social networking.

The app, called eShadow, debuted Thursday at the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems in Minnesota. Developers say the software – which they view as a complement to online social networks – helps people locate their friends in a crowd and make new friends who share similar interests.

The app uses nearby wireless networks and smartphones’ wireless communication technologies to alert users that a friend who also uses the software is in the area – and gives directions to that friend’s location. Dong Xuan, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Ohio State University, said he hopes the software also will build bridges between strangers who share personal or professional interests.

Xuan and fellow researchers plan to expand the app from the Windows Mobile platform to other smartphone platforms, with an eye toward releasing the software in the near future, according to an Ohio State news release.

“Today, online social networking has advanced dramatically, but our ability to meet people face-to-face hasn’t gotten any easier,” Xuan said. “We want eShadow to close social gaps and connect people in meaningful ways, while keeping the technology non-intrusive and protecting privacy.”

Read more: http://technorati.com/technology/article/smartphone-app-helps-locate-friends-make/#ixzz1QI7lVcx7

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