We’ve finished developing a mobile prototype called “Checkmates”. The Checkmates prototype is a mobile application for telling your friends where you are and seeing where they are on a scrolling mobile map. You can even use a custom map from inside a building – which is one of the really cool new things. You’ll be able to see your friends’ locations, what their status is, and when they broadcasted their location.
The main site is here: http://tinyurl.com/pya4x
The current version comes with data for the eTech conference, local bars, restaurants and hotels – and a couple of floors of the hotel with the eTech conference setup.
One of the other nice things we’ve been working on is the radial/pie menu system. I’ve been dying to find a good application where we could try one of these out and a phone is a really nice place to do it. A mobile device has really restrictive input capabilities and everyone is used to using the 5-way. I think it works pretty nicely in the app, and it’s even capable of selecting an entry from a long list.
Its built in J2ME (MIDP2) for the broadest platform support on mobile devices and uses Yahoo!s external Flickr API for defining your “friends” (using Flickrs Friends and Family social network). J2ME turns out to be a bit of a pain to develop with and I wish there was far better emulator support that mimics real phones better.
One nice side effect of using Flickr is that we can add map tiles into your photostream that represent where you are. These can only be seen by those in your social network (the same people who can see where you are using the app).
More blogs about the prototype from my colleagues: