Sony Ericsson’s social networking vision

During the last few months we’ve seen the introduction of various location and context aware services for our mobile devices.

Nokia Friend View and Google Latitude, that allows to broadcast your location to friends probably received the most of the buzz.

But things are only just starting now and this personal info and status broadcast should see a lot of interesting developments pretty soon.

Case in point – the new service described in Sony Ericsson patent application called “Virtual world avatar activity governed by real persons life activity”.

It envisions a small mobile app on your phone, called “Activity tracker”, that will monitor your activities on the phone and various sensors in it, and broadcast this info to a virtual world service, where the info on your avatar will be updated to reflect your current status.

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  • Sitting in a restaurant, watching a movie at a Cineplex or relaxing at the beach? Your phone’s GPS sensor sends  the coordinates to the service, which checks your movement patterns within last half an hour, queries the mapping database, deduces what your are up to,  and updates your avatar accordingly.
  • Talking to a friend on the phone? The activity tracker knows this and shows your’s and your friend’s avatars in a virtual world as talking to each other.
  • Just bought something and paid for it with your handset? Your avatar shows you carrying this thing out of the shop.
  • Taking a picture or shooting a video with your phone? The new icons to these items appear next to your avatar as soon as you are done.

To tell the truth, it sounds rather scary, very big brotherish, and prone to abuse.

On the other hand, done smart, with carefull consideration of privacy issues, this might be quite an interesting thing to have. Especially integrated with the likes of Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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