SmallPlanet, a Los Angeles-based startup, created three location-based applications for mobile devices they are planning on rolling out sequentially:
1. CrowdSurfer allows users to make the invisible connections that they may have to those around them. They store their own profiles on their phones, and choose to see or be seen by other users who may have similar interests, gone to the same school, worked at the same company, etc. This is accomplished by periodic “pinging” by Bluetooth signal typically in a 30-50 foot radius.
If another user is detected, the phone can search the database at SmallPlanet.net via GPRS connection to discover if they have friends in common. If they are connected by up to 4 degrees contact relations, the profiles of those friends connecting them are displayed.
2. DealSurfer –to be tested this Autumn, allows stores to send out (at up to 100 meters) discount opportunities or coupons via Bluetooth to users who have decided to turn on their CrowdSurfer application.
But the user has to turn the application on when he wants to receive these messages. These are free because they come via Bluetooth. SmallPlanet only allow retailers to send discount opportunities or coupons, not spam-like advertising.
3. LineCutter is still under development. Using Bluetooth or WiFi from your mobile device, you could walk into, say, a fastfood, view the menu on your mobile screen, place an order and pay for it without waiting in line or having to go to the register.