Social networks go physical with new proximity technologies

Justina Kostinaite By Justina Kostinaite
Robert just got notified that his hottest Tinder match is nearby

It is very likely that every day we walk past strangers who could become our best friends, business partners or even significant others. What if we could discover people we don’t know but probably should – based on their digital profiles? One could never know which opportunistic encounter might be the most valuable connection ever made…

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Proximity revolution: digital payments made physical

Justina Kostinaite By Justina Kostinaite
p2p proximity makes it extremely easy to split rideshare bills
(Picture: Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty)

The inconvenience of splitting a bill at a restaurant is known to many, not to mention an Uber trip home, when no one knows exactly who has to pay and how much. Imagine if rather than communicating via extraneous means, smartphones could discover each other physically – depending on proximity – and interact directly peer […]

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p2p proximity is the trendiest word in the events industry

Justina Kostinaite By Justina Kostinaite
Reinvented check-in

p2p proximity enables apps to understand their proximity to nearby devices without any additional hardware. It works directly between devices, is highly accurate indoors, doesn’t drain battery life and requires no additional maintenance.

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What Google Glass, Augmented Reality and p2pkit have in common?

Franck Legendre By Franck Legendre
The PiedPiper team at Techcrunch Disrupt

In my previous post, I talked about the different faces of proximity and how the People face was missing in the picture of Things and Places. In this post, I’m going to demonstrate by X,W,Z why p2pkit is THE true Augmented Reality (AR) technology. You all know the late Google Glasses [†RIP — Feb. 2013-Jan. 19th […]

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The different faces of Proximity

Franck Legendre By Franck Legendre
4479669148_ef7b414cae_b

In the history of the digital revolution, the Internet has a prominent place. It has shrunk the world and brought us closer together. And now we’re on the verge of the next major digital revolution. Call it Physical Web or Internet of Things (IoT) and it’s coming, believe it or not, faster than you think. Yes, one of the last digital barriers left is the physical real-world, the one we can touch and feel, the one we see, in short the proximate one, funny huh?

Surely you’ve heard of beacons? Our proximity saviors. But…

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What does it take to win a modern hackathon?

Franck Legendre By Franck Legendre
HackZurich and OktoberHackFest Winners, 2015 - © FL/HackZurich/IHK-OHF15.

As Uepaa we sponsored two great hackathons in the last 2 week(ends), OktoberHackFest in Münich and HackZürich. Both were a great success for our promoted SDK — p2pkit.io.

And as an external viewer, and sponsor, we want to share our impressions about what it takes to win a modern hackathon. Besides the fun and learning about new technologies (provided by the great sponsors like us 😉 ), winning a renowned hackathon where more than 100 participants gather can be easier than you think. As always there is no recipe for success but if you follow our advice, you might increase your chances.

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How Google Nearby (really) works – and what else it does?

Franck Legendre By Franck Legendre
How does Google Nearby.Messages work? - © FL/Uepaa, Aug. 2015.

First rumors of Google Nearby appeared early June 2014 and many expected an announcement at Google I/O a few weeks later. Two Google I/Os later, it is finally out! So how does Google Nearby (really) work? And what data you have to give away to Google to make it work?

Nearby has two main APIs: Nearby.Connections and Nearby.Messages. Nearby.Connections allows the discovery of devices connected to be on the same Wi-Fi network using multicast packets sent over the access point. Nearby.Messages doesn’t require devices to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Instead, it uses various ad hoc radio technologies to broadcast a random token others can listen to. It does, however, require both devices to have their screen awake and to be online in order to work and we’ll see why next. In this post, we’ll only focus only on Nearby.Messages.

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Proximity through the eyes of Wi-Fi Aware and Google Nearby – An Industry Insight

Franck Legendre By Franck Legendre
Nathan Carter - BRAVO LIMA UDON ELEPHANT, 2009 - © FL/MCA Chicago, Sep. 2010.

Last week was the forefront of two major tech announcements: Google’s Nearby API and Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Aware certification program.

Wi-Fi Aware, also called Wi-Fi NAN for Neighbor Awareness Networking, extends “Wi-Fi with real-time and energy efficient discovery” according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. The certification program is the last step before first chips being produced by chip makers are certified and can be commercialized to smartphone and access point manufacturers.

Google Nearby provides a proximity API, Nearby Messages, for iOS and Android devices to discover and communicate with each other. Nearby will be provided through a forthcoming update of the Google Play Services.

These are two great pieces of news. Why? First, proximity is gaining momentum and a key player – Google – is now entering the scene. Second, Wi-Fi Aware has the potential to become a key enabler technology for proximity and we can’t wait getting our hands on it.

That said, let’s not get too excited too soon and go through a quick reality check.

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