Opportunistic Social Networking

The project explores the use of opportunistic networking to facilitate in the distribution of messages during brief moments of interaction. The mobile application was developed as part of the EU SocialNets research initiative looking at modeling networking around our physical lives. Based on previous theoretical research on the possibility to opportunistic blogging the application was developed on the Android mobile OS highlighting possible challenges and in turn the feasibility of such application development.

The software makes it possible for unpaired communication between Android devices by circumventing the current security restrictions through direct communication with the underlying C based Bluetooth libraries. The user is able to run the application as a background service where it scans for and detects devices that are within range as you move around within your daily life. Through user specified interests as content is created and tagged if there is a match found then content will be pushed to your phone and can then be further disseminated to others all without centralised network access.

As a prototype application the present version has limited functionality but highlights the potential of these applications. The development took place over a summer vacation during which further research was undertaken into reality mining and life blogging looking at the automatic creation of user profiles and techniques for better integrating the application within our lives. One area explored focused on reducing the number of Bluetooth scans undertaken during operation. This was achieved by making assumptions of the population density within the users location and in turn predicting the average walking speed to reduce the required scans. This research has also progressed looking further at how we disseminate personal information and how this should alter over time in line with our lives.

The application unlike other research prototypes does not require a rooted device to function but bypasses restrictions in place on the higher level Java API by communicating directly with the underlying C code. For this reason the application is not publicly available as with each further Android update and customisation by manufactures it is likely to require device specific adjustments.

Application Screenshots can be found here

Completion Status

Is It Done

More Info

Application Development Blog, Application Screenshots
Population Density (Walking Speed) API, System Activity Diagram

SocialNet - Opportunistic Blogging

Reality Mining - Reverse Geo Location