Feeds

MIT launches buddy-stalker messenger service

Finding friends on campus

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

MIT students are tracking each other as they wander from lecture to lecture using iFind, a new piece of beta software from the university's Senseable City Lab.

The system looks like an instant messenger client, but as well as pinging messages back and forth, it presents the user with a map of the campus showing where all their friends are, in real time. It plots "buddies" who are logged in by tracing where they are accessing the campus' WiFi network.

iFind has been developed by François Proulx, with help from the Senseable City Lab's Director Carlo Ratti.

Proulx told News.com: "When you hover your mouse over your friend, a little ripple or star blinks, and you see a pop-up with the name of your friend, building and room where he is. You can then double-click to start a chat."

He added that since its launch, about one person was downloading the software every minute.

As with normal IM systems, users have to agree to join a buddy list, and can appear invisible to a user or group of users if they chose. They do not have to be specifically logged in to appear online, however, as the software simply tracks their WiFi card accessing the network.

The system is also peer-to-peer, to avoid location data being stored anywhere on a central server. Proulx says this is unusual, and that other, similar systems do rely on central servers collecting and storing location information.

Proulx says he also plans to release the code to the wider community under the GNU public license. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?