Jul 19, 2011
5 Miles is an app that looks to try to combine geolocation with short-form messaging services like Twitter. The way it works is that users broadcast out a message, preferably ones looking for people for some kind of activity, from looking for players for a game to people to come out to a party. This message lasts for 24 hours, and is broadcasted out to all other users within a 5 mile radius, hence the name “5 Miles.” Thanks to Android’s permissions for apps, devices running 5 Miles can receive these messages, called “fivecasts” to their device when they travel into the range of a fivecast. Fivecasts can also be mobile, and the epicenter of a fivecast can move as the creator of the fivecast, called a “fivemaster,” moves. This has the benefit of making this geolocation service potentially more viral, and ironically more disconnected than other services that rely on geolocation. See, as fivecasts are inherently mobile, and designed to capture as many users as possible, this increases the possibility that messages are relevant to people, and that the service can spread. It’s essentially the inverse of Foursquare, where it is about drawing in users to a certain location; this is about using location to attract users, but is not about the specific location. This is an interesting service, with a free Android app available for users to try out.