Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nokia Friend View 2.0: Social Route Planning?

Nokia Friend View is definitely one of the cooler mobile location-based applications, maintaining a list of friends (similar to social networks) and showing you on a map where all your friend are.

Nokia Friend View is released by Nokia Beta Labs, so Nokia will probably release a Nokia Friend View 2.0, and then (if it's well received) will either release NFV as its own application, or integrate its functionality into another Nokia application.

The obvious target for ultimate integration is Nokia Maps. But what will Nokia add in NFV 2.0?

A new patent application may give us the answer: Social Route Planning. The patent covers a method of finding a route between two sources (like all GPS systems do) while taking into account where your friends are. The patent relates to three categories of people: people you don't know, people who are "familiar strangers," and people who are friends. Presumably an implementation would be designed to get you from point A to point B, seeing friends along the way, and avoiding the people you want to avoid.

When will this be out? The patent application obviously gives no indication, but judging from how Nokia Beta Labs usually operates, we hope to see social route planning in Nokia Friend View 2.0 sometime in March 2009.

What do you think of Social Route Planning? Would you use it? What features would you want included?

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