SmallPlanet's CrowdSurfer technology was tested on the UCLA campus. Limited to Nokia 6600 and 6230 phones only (which reduces the level of social networking by limiting options, in my opinion), the application uses Bluetooth to find other users up to 100 feet away, and relationship information is made available via GPRS connections to the SmallPlanet.net Web site. "This is true location-based, mobile social networking," says SmallPlanet's Ken Torimaru, who led the development of CrowdSurfer. "We are giving users the option to know when friends are nearby and to meet new people with whom they share some common, previously invisible connection, and we're doing it in the real world; in real time, in real place."
"This is going to change sociology forever," says Vic Downing, President of the strategic advisory firm Global Advantage, Inc. The application goes well beyond the online friend of friend networking popularized by sites like Friendster and Google's Orkut.com according to SmallPlanet CEO Hunter Heaney. The application allows users to create their own profile settings such as "social" or "business" to filter exactly what information is being revealed depending on what type of environment they are in. "It's not just about changing the dating scene at bars or a neat party trick, think about how useful it would be at large business conferences, or just in everyday life," says Heaney. "It helps you find people out in the real world that you want to connect with. Maybe you went to the same school, or grew up in the same town, or maybe you work in the same fields, whatever the points of convergence are, we're helping to facilitate face-to-face interactions."