Yesterday, we reported an exceptional advancement in mobile technology, with the story about the German university team creating an iPhone app that could remotely control cars. Today’s app is not quite as groundbreaking as that one, but still is phenomenal if one cares to consider how difficult the implementation must have been. Bump is by no means a new app, as it is currently in the news for its availability on the Android platform. Hitherto only supported by the iPhone operating system and hardware, the news must make all exponents of Android pretty pleased.
Created by Bump Technologies, Bump is a content-sharing app that transfers data from one phone to another when two phones are physically bumped together – in an extremely literal sense.
The first impression, when reading the article, was that the phones must be linked through some complicated software manipulation, as ‘bump’ also has meaning in an operating system context. However, when the true meaning dawned upon us, we were fairly stunned. And then the questions started. How does it work? How can a software application recognise the physical action without dedicated sensors?
Starting at the beginning, Bump is an application that allows people to swap their contact information and photos instantaneously. Each user needs to obviously have Bump installed on their iPhones, as well as have a functioning Internet connection. The user interface allows the user to select the information they want to transfer from the entire contact card; for example, either their phone numbers, address or photo. Each piece of contact information has a dedicated button which can be used toggle that option. The instructions are to grip the iPhone and gently bump hands together.
Now to descend into the realms of conjecture: the transfer is presumably conducted over the Internet, considering that is a prerequisite of the software application. Also, if the transfer is conducted in this way, safety is a huge hazard. Sensible users would definitely see the danger of unintended recipients being able to access their information. However, Bump Technology assures all its users that the physical bump is very necessary from the transfer of information. Without the physical bump, the software bump is, to all intents and purposes, useless.
Bump has had two news announcements recently: one, being the Android app that it is releasing in the near future, which we mentioned earlier. The second interesting piece of news is that the application will also have social networking integration.
The app now has a feature known as ‘Friend Compare’. As the integration with Facebook has increased, the app is able to delve deep into contacts and present a list of mutual friends between two people. This feature is currently unavailable on the Android phone, but it will probably be added in future releases.
A truly exciting development of the Android app is that Bump will actually work between an iPhone and, say, a Motorola Droid; this means the application is truly cross-platform, making it very attractive. The company just has to make an app for Palm and Symbian, and then the app will be a universal favourite.