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Jabberwocky Bluetooth Familiar Strangers
Posted on 17-Apr-2004 14:24. | Tags Filed under: News.

Jabberwocky Bluetooth Familiar Strangers
As part of a project at Intel Research Labs at Berkeley, the Jabberwocky project was primarily an outgrowth of several months of studies and research on the concept of Familiar Strangers.

The web site says "The Familiar Stranger is a social phenomenon first addressed by the psychologist Stanley Milgram in his 1972 essay on the subject. Familiar Strangers are individuals that we regularly observe but do not interact with. By definition a Familiar Stranger must be observed, repeatedly, and without any interaction. The claim is that the relationship we have with these Familiar Strangers is indeed a real relationship in which both parties agree to mutually ignore each other, without any implications of hostility. A good example is a person that one sees on the subway every morning. If that person fails to appear, we notice."

The Jabberwocky software is available for Bluetooth enabled mobile phones capable of running MIDP 2.0 applications. Jabberwocky captures a unique, synergistic moment Ė expanding urban populations, rapid adoption of Bluetooth mobile devices, and widespread influence of wireless technology across our urban landscapes.

As two people approach one another, each personís individually carried Jabberwocky mobile phone application transparently detects and records the otherís unique identity. In fact the beauty of the application is that it still operates even if the other Bluetooth mobile phone is not running the Jabberwocky application. Over time each Jabberwocky application accumulates a log of unique entries of people that have been previously encountered.

Later, as the user crosses through another part of the city, takes the subway, or waits at a street corner, the Jabberwocky application senses nearby groups and crows and renders an abstract real-time visualization of familiarity. It is able to account for the amount of Familiar Strangers nearby as well as a notion of your shared history with them. This visualization provides an interface to groups and crowds rather than individuals, thus avoiding numerous privacy issues.

Of course this application does not create a closed group, since the participants not always know or contact each other. Some will never corss their paths again, actually.

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