When you think of iBeacon technology, it’s likely for shopping. We’ve highlighted the benefits of proximity awareness time and again, with Gimbal being one of our favorite platforms. A new service aims to bring a social layer to location awareness, breaking new ground on how we really interact with one another.
Shortwave uses your proximity to a beacon sensor such as Gimbal to open up a chat service, where an open forum lends itself to discussion. The service is anonymous, and lets you chat with anyone pinging off the same beacon as you are. It’s a wholly new take on what the iBeacon technology can offer — and is either brilliant or slightly dangerous.
The immediate concern is of overzealous admirers finding and harassing another user. There is also the propensity for some of us to make obnoxious or disgusting remarks blindly, using the service to amuse ourselves. With a location-based, anonymous platform, the chance for “weird” skyrockets.
Shortwave wasn’t built for that, though. The team tells TechCrunch their service was designed for venues like concerts, and we think it has a neat use case for all kinds of cases. Something like Shortwave could really improve customer service if employees were monitoring it, and can be a great way to find lost kids in a store.
The service is app based, and only available on iOS right now. It’s as interesting as it is concerning, but Shortwave founder Alonso Holmes is in for the experience. “We’re kind of in unproven territory here”, he says.