Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cityware - (facebook bluetooth application)

So as some of you know I have some Facebook applications under development/consideration.

I was at the Facebook developers conference where someone told me about Cityware.

It's a bit messy as it's a cut and paste post from there website but if you are interested then this thing will blow your socks off and you'll read it to then end.

How big is this application going to get? dont know but super interesting to see what happens.


What is Cityware?

For an overview of Cityware, watch the video.

While Facebook does a great job of capturing our friendship networks, it does not capture who we actually spend time with. During the course of a day we come in contact with various people: friends we meet at university or work, people we always see at the bus stop, and complete strangers that we bump into while shopping. These people form our real-world social networks.

These daily "random" encounters with strangers are actually quite important. This is how you make new friends, or meet the love of your life. Using Cityware, you can identify your real-world network, see who you bump into most often, and explore how much time you spend with friend, or strangers. To do all this, Cityware consists of three components:1. A Facebook application that allows users to explore and visualise their real-world social networks.2. A server application that analyses the relationships between people and provides data to Cityware.3. A Java utility (the Cityware utility) that enables users to upload their data to our servers.

The motivation behind Cityware is to allow users to explore their real world networks in a Facebook-style environment. With Cityware, users can see who they spend most time with, who they meet most often or most recently. Additionally, Cityware information is linked directly to Facebook profiles, thus providing and extremely rich dataset for users to explore. Here is a

Cityware has been developed by
Vassilis Kostakos and Simon Jones at the University of Bath, and in conjuction with the Cityware project.

For Cityware to work, you need to:
1. Add Cityware to your facebook profile. If a friend hasn't already tagged you in Cityware you may need to enter the Bluetooth ID of your mobile device. You can do this from the 'My Settings' page on your Cityware profile.
2. Set your Bluetooth-enabled device set to discoverable mode. Most mobile phones, PDAs and laptops support this feature.
3. Live in an area supported by Cityware, or help us
expand Cityware.

Why does Cityware only work in certain areas?
Because Cityware requires an infrastructure of "nodes" which can actually detect which devices are in the area. This data is then uploaded to our servers so that we can feed it into your Cityware profile.

Where does Cityware work?
Anywhere there is a Cityware node... the node network is growing each day. To view nodes which our users have marked on the map
click here and search for "Cityware". You can easily make your area Cityware-supported, by clicking here.

How can I get Cityware to work in my school, university, company, or city?
It's free! All you need is a computer with an internet connection. Click

Cityware is not working. What's wrong?
Make sure you fulfill the requirements described above. Also, note that even if you live in a Cityware-supported area, you are not guaranteed to show up in Cityware. For this to happen, you need to have walked past one of the specific locations (such as the cafeteria of your school, a coffee shop, or the library foyer). Data takes a few minutes to appear in your Cityware page. The mini-Cityware profile that appears in your Facebook profile gets updated every time you click on the link "My Cityware", or the Cityware link in your top-left application panel. If you have multiple devices registered with your account, your mini-profile will show data from the device that appears at the top of your settings page.

How do I find my Bluetooth ID?
Each Bluetooth-enabled device has a unique Bluetooth ID that uniquely identifies it. This is exactly how Facebook works, by assigning a unique ID to each user. For example, your Facebook ID is: 674616722. There are a number of ways to figure out your Bluetooth ID. The easiest way, if you have a Nokia phone, is to type *#2820# in your phone. Many phones will allow you to use our BTIdentify tool
(for a full list of compatible devices click here). Download the BTIdentify jar file here and copy it to your phone using your USB cable or Bluetooth connection to your PC. Run the application and it will show you the Bluetooth address of your device. For all other phones and mobile devices, please follow these instructions. 1.Pair your device with another device or laptop. For example, you can pair your device with your desktop computer (provided the computer has Bluetooth), or you can pair your device with a friend's mobile phone (provided your friend's phone has Bluetooth). The pairing process usually involves the exchange of a password which you can set.2.After pairing, you need to find on your desktop (or friend's phone) the list of paired devices. For Windows computers, go to the control panel and double-click on "Bluetooth". For Mac OS X, go to System Preferences, and click on Bluetooth. For mobile phones, you need to go to the Bluetooth preferences screen, and look for an option "Paired devices" or similar.3. A number of details will be provided about your device, including its name, the services it provides, as well as its ID (also refered to as Address). The ID should be 12 characters long. Sometimes the ID is printed with colons (11:22:33:44:55:66), in which case you can just ignore the colons. This is the ID that you need to enter in Cityware settings.

Using Cityware
The main page
The main page displays a person's Cityware profle. The profile can be either yours or someone else's. Your profile will show you statistics on the people you encounter on a daily basis. By encounter, we mean being in the same place at the same time. The displayed information can be sorted according to the
duration of encounters (how much time you spend with someone),
frequency (how many distinct times you encountered each other),
or recency (the last time you encountered each other). By default your profile will show the top 8 encounters per page, but you can click on the "Show more" link to display up to 100 entries. You will also note that the top 3 entries from each category are shown on the Cityware box in your Facebook profile.
Cityware knows which Bluetooth devices belong to which Facebook users by using tagging. When looking at a Cityware profile, you can click on the link "Tag this device". This will allow you to link the specific Bluetooth device to a Facebook user. Doing so will then enable you to explore their Cityware profile.

The settings page
On the settings page can see which Bluetooth devices have been linked to your account. For example, you may own a mobile phone and two laptops that have Bluetooth, and these will show up here. On this page you can set the type of Bluetooth device to be either a mobile phone or a computer. You will also notice that each device has an assigned name that you cannot directly edit. The only way to change a device's name is by changing its Bluetooth name on the device itself. Eventually, the new name will make its way into our servers.
Finally, if you want to dissasociate yourself from a device, you can click on the link "Untag this device". This will remove the association between your device and your Facebook account.

What is your privacy policy?
Cityware is an academic research project, and we do not intend to make a profit. All data we collect is stored securely on our servers. We intend to publish the results of our research in a fully anonimised way, such that no individual's privacy is undermined.

It's not working!
Cityware requires data about you, so that it can show it to you. For Cityware to have data about you and your friends, you need to be in a Cityware-supported city, school, or office. If you would like to involve your organisation in Cityware, click
I live in a Cityware-supported area, but it still doesn't work
Make sure your Bluetooth is switched on, and set to discoverable. Also make sure that you have been near the computers running the Cityware utility. Finally, make sure your device shows up in the settings page. If not, then add it using the "Add device" link in the settings page.
I do not live in a Cityware-supported area. What should I do?
You can easily turn your area into a Cityware-supported area. Click
here for more information.

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