Jaiku, amongst other things, is a little application that sits on your phone and monitors a) your current cell ID and b) your phone’s status (including whether you’re using it and what profile you’re using).
From this, Jaiku then extrapolates your presence. I’m fascinated by it.
So, you can see that I’m currently in the Queen’s Park area of Billericay, UK. How does it know that? Because I filled it in. By default, the location is always ‘UK’. But if you click on it, you can specify a neighbourhood and a town/city. So I’ve been busy doing this for all the cell IDs around here.
I cannot tell you how sexy it is — from a really geeeeeeeky perspective — to walk along the road and see your phone’s location status update according to the cell you’re connected to. You have to tag the cells though. Obviously. So, I’ve tagged home with ‘Queens Park, Billericay’. I wasn’t sure whether if I tagged that cell as ‘Ewan’s Home’ then if you came walking by, if your status would be updated to say you’re at Ewan’s Home. I don’t think so. I don’t quite know yet.
Today, on the way to Hammersmith, I tagged about 8 different cells. Hammersmith, Ladbroke Grove, Latimer Road, Shepherd’s Bush. So now, when I (Or, I think you) go through those cells with your Jaiku-enabled handset, it’ll update your location presence to all your friends. Love it.
I’ve been playing with it with my friends and colleagues. It’s great. I was updating my status every 5 minutes on the train and as I went about my business. It tickles me pink to be able to then look and see what everyone else is up to. For example, James Whatley of Mobizines is on my list. So I can tell you that this evening he was off to a partner event at Bambou… and didn’t invite me 😉
Jaiku also tells you when people last updated their location (e.g. I’ve been in the Queen’s Park area for 2 hours now) and also tells you when they last used their phone to do anything. REAALLLLY useful. For me, anyway. I could see it being a wind-up for some.
I haven’t quite got a total grasp on Jaiku. I’m still discovering and playing with it. But I hope to have an interview with the founders shortly. Mobile presence is something that’s always fascinated me. If you’re up for figuring it out and you’re on Symbian, head over to Jaiku.com, get an account, download it to your handset and add ‘ewanmacleod’ as a friend…