Cityware – an interesting Facebook application

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Here’s an interesting idea from the uNiversity of Bath. Cityware is a Facebook application that connects to a Bluetooth-enabled device and logs who you encounter throughout the day (assuming they are also on Facebook and using Cityware).

It has a lot of potential in teh social networking area, not to mention making those adverts in Time Out redundant (“to the girl with blonde hair on the 7.12 to Paddington. I was the weirdo who kept staring at you. Call me.”) as you could, in theory, look at your daily log and then pry in to the personal details of anyone who even so much as wandered past you in the supermarket.

Scary. But there you go. I’m up for giving it a go, in the name of science.

(Of course, it’ll give the civil liberties lot nightmares. If the government suggested everyone wander round with devices tracking their movements there’d be uproar. But as it’s Facebook, it’s okay…)

To sign up you need to visit the Cityware page on Facebook. Oh, and you also need to be living in a Cityware node but there are only three in the world at the moment. However, it’s easy to set your own computer up as a node.
So although I’m now using this application, as I don’t have any plans to visit UC San Diego, the University of Bath, or UCL in London any time soon it’ll be a long time before I pop up on anyone’s radar. Unless we can get one started where I work. In the interests of science.

On second thoughts I’ve just thought of several reasons why this might be a bad idea… It would obviate the need for gossip, for one thing. Just check Facebook every morning and you’d immediately see if your suspicions about Jill from Accounts and Fred from Catering were true (made up names and people, incidentally – heaven forbid I’ve stumbled on something there!)

Edit: In a (rare) moment of self-doubt I looked up ‘obviate’ wondering if it’s one of those words I’ve either misheard or used incorrectly. Like ‘fulsome’. Turns out I’m right – it means ‘avoid’ (which makes me wonder why I didn’t say that – but wrong in that ‘obviate’ means ‘avoid the need for’ so instead of ‘obviates the need for gossip’ I should’ve said ‘obviates gossip’.

You learn something new everyday!

2 comments on “Cityware – an interesting Facebook application

  1. Anonymous says:

    Where are the nodes? I have been unable to find any in Oxford.

  2. Jonathan says:

    You have to start your own, it seems. There’s instructions on the Cityware page. It’ll take someone to start one to get others to join in, I reckon…

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