发信人: ziwaixian (自外西岸), 信区: MobileDevelopment
标 题: Google Will Soon Introduce 'Nearby' To Let Other 'People, Places, And Things' Know When You're Aroun
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sat Jun 7 22:27:06 2014, 美东)
Posted by Liam Spradlin in Android OS, Exclusives, Google, News
A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors,
and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things
like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders
have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based
reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet.
But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called
Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people,
places, and things.
We've received information indicating that Nearby will come with an upcoming
Google Play Services update. While we still caution readers that anything
related to a leak can change, we are not treating this as a rumor, as our
information is reliable and complete enough to inspire full confidence that
this functionality will be revealed (in an official capacity) soon.
What is Nearby?
Before we get started, here's the copy from the Nearby onboarding screen,
which gives a nice overview of what we'll be discussing.
Nearby lets you connect, share, and do more with people, places, and
things near you.
When Nearby is turned on for your account, Google can periodically turn
on the mic, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and similar features on all your current and
future devices. Google+ and other Google services need this access to help
you connect, share, and more.
When you turn on Nearby, you're also turning on Location History for
your account and Location Reporting for this device. Google needs these
services to periodically store your location data for use by Nearby, other
Google services, and more.
You'd be forgiven for not registering the full impact of Nearby from that
snippet. The key takeaway from this is that Nearby will allow enabled
devices, with extreme precision, to know when they are near each other, and
interact according to the context.
Remember when Google bought Bump? The service used the bumping motion as
well as location data to know when two devices wanted to interact. Google
also acquired SlickLogin in February, which can use audio, Bluetooth, and
WiFi to authenticate. Nearby would wrap up all these techniques without you
even touching your device. To protect privacy, the information gathered from
these various sources on your device would likely travel to Google, and be
matched with others' information there, with only the acknowledgement of
proximity being revealed to other devices.
Users, according to our information, will also be able to choose who (and
presumably what) they are visible to. This will limit the ways that Nearby
can automatically interact on a user's behalf.
While it's still early in its life cycle, and settings don't appear to be
fully built out yet, it's easy to imagine Nearby coming in handy for
extremely targeted Wallet offers, reminders, or other location-based
interactions, but the important part here is that a user wouldn't need to
interact with their phone or tablet to let other devices (be they mobile or
otherwise) know they are around, and switching on Nearby once would allow
the functionality to work with all of a user's devices.
This would open up the possibility of automated functionality in tons of
spaces beyond the commercial world, from home automation to everyday user-to
-user interaction, to the interaction between your own devices. This is
especially interesting in light of Apple's recent announcement of Continuity
, an iOS and OS X feature that allows Apple-made devices to interact with
each other in really smart ways automatically, based on proximity.
Readers may remember "Easy Unlock," an unfinished Chrome OS feature that
would let users unlock their Chromebook simply by being near it with their
phone. It's unclear whether that specific function is related, but it would
certainly make sense. There's also a hint at automated proximity-based
functionality in the Android Wear promo video, in which a user opens their
garage door by simply saying "Ok Google, open garage."
What Does it Look Like?
Typically, we choose not to post source images for stories like these, since
early prototypes and explorations can include identifying information. This
time, though, we are making an exception - the shots below are actual
screenshots, not our mockups. The first set of shots shows entry to Nearby
settings from Google Settings. Nearby is under the "Location" item that
already exists in Google Settings. The initial screen will give the user
some introduction to what Nearby is and does, and the option to turn it on,
though for obvious reasons, a data connection is required to switch it on.
Once the user does flip the switch, there's not a whole lot to see.
According to our information, the settings here will include items like "
visibility," wherein a user can monitor and adjust the list of other people
they are visible to. Individual settings for other services using Nearby
would likely also populate this list, once everything is hooked up. It isn't
surprising to see an empty tray here, since apps besides Play Services
would need to be updated to actually hook into this functionality and it
doesn't appear any apps have this capability yet.
For those wondering, the "Learn more" link (here) seen above is not live yet
- it just redirects to Google's main support page.
It's early, but Nearby is definitely a functionality to keep an eye out for.
Besides the obvious applications like the previously rumored contact-based
reminders, the feature could have huge potential for other areas. We can't
be certain whether this will be an I/O unveiling, but here's hoping we hear
something official soon.
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