Face 2 Face
Face2Face, touted as the next generation of location-based services, was the first major project for Proximate Global Inc. (PGI), a US-based organization founded in 2009. The smartphone application aimed at combining the benefits of social networks and location awareness, with the elusive privacy and control measures that is being increasingly demanded.
PGI approached Creative Chaos for the application development, with emphasis on one focal point –
the simultaneous integration of visibility, which is the core aim of such a service, and user privacy.This was imperative for the success of the app, as face2face was meant to be a ground-breaking venture in thelocation-services category and help it move from the niche it currently represents, towards broader consumer acceptance.
Despite the disproportionate media attention that current location-based apps are commanding, market research consistently shows that smartphone users are reluctant to surrender the specifics of their geographic locations to anyone on the Internet.
As a fix, the pioneering concept of ‘proximity awareness’ was incorporated in the face2face application.
This allows for users to enjoy the benefits of identifying who in their social network is in their vicinity, without divulging one’s precise location. With this level of security being an integral part of the platform, face2face was also equipped with a feature for linking together other existing social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter – into the ecosystem. Using the application users are able to send instant messages, call and potentially meet anyone in their consolidated networks.
The platform also allows for the serendipity of new relationships, by combining proximity with a ‘friends of friends’ discovery feature. Additionally, the security levels were given a further boost by building reciprocity into their platform – it’s a two-way commitment; no one can know that another is nearby without also letting them know the same. The application also provides options to block the proximity feature for a particular user or toggle proximity for all friends, friends of friends or even Twitter friends.
In essence, face2face is the first free application for smartphones that is both location-aware and solves the problem of privacy and safety, which is imperative for bringing social and business networks into the real world.