No more roll-calls?

A device containing an iBeacon and the Robin smartphone app. Credit: Robin

I don't know about you, but spending quite a bit of my time in meetings I couldn't help but noticing that every time we use (waste) some time for the roll call of participants so that everybody knows who is the other guy, his department, what is actually working on ... And that happens every time a new participant shows up, although all the others know each other pretty well.

I recollected this as I was reading a news on Technology review on a start up in Boston, Robin, that has invented an App to share the identity of a person once she gets into a space, a meeting room, a kitchen, an office....

The App on the phone interacts with a beacon located in a room and depending on the room, the specific use of the room at that particular time and the clearance given by a person to the app will share data about that person to people in the room (or let other people connected to the app know that a certain person is in a certain location.

Information derived from LinkedIn profile, Twitter Handle, and even files loaded on Dropbox can be shared among the people in the room. So if you are sitting there waiting for the meeting to start and a new guy comes in, you'll see on your cell phone his photo, his name and contact information (that you can store in your contact list with a click) and a list of documents he will be presenting that you can download on your computer and smart phone.

Robin claims that this enables a smart use of space and time and offers its app for a monthly fee (from 100$ up to 1,000$ depending on the number of rooms you want to track).

Interesting to see how ingenuity can make technology work!  There might be privacy issues but it is actually to each single person to decide how much she wants to share and if she wants to be tracked. At the same time, the very existence of technologies such as this can enable companies to put pressure on their employee to comply and disclose their whereabouts... Aren't we already displaying a badge (for security reason) on a "leash" around our neck?


Author - Roberto Saracco

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