A German startup is developing an app that automatically informs you of your friends’ whereabouts.
The app, which is in beta on Google Play, is called Closely. It is a spin-off of their Familonet, a family-centric app, which is basically a mobile location-based network that includes a feature that automatically notifies you of a loved one’s location.
Closely uses Familonet’s geofencing technology and works in a similar way.
“Over the last months we have repeatedly received feedback that Familonet app is very suitable not only for families but also for other groups of people,” explained CEO and co-founder Hauke Windmüller. “Closely comes with a slightly different feature setting compared to Familonet (e.g. no alert feature, different design, Facebook integration of checkins). Closely perfectly meets the needs of children and teenagers who want to stay in touch closely to their best friends or a small group of others.”
To prevent stalking and other unwelcome surveillance activities, all exchanges using the app are encrypted.
To ensure the app provides reliable and accurate location data, the geofencing technology “combines all three location determination technologies like cell tower triangulation, Wifi and GPS.”
“It uses movement patterns and stochastic models to reduce the battery consumption while increasing the accuracy at the same time,” said Windmüller. “These results in a geofencing technology which is up to 5 times more accurate than Apple’s & Google’s APIs and has up to 90% less GPS usage compared to competitors.”
Out of beta, Closely will be available for free on Play, and an iOS app will be launching soon.