Want to set your Facebook Places location? Shake it baby

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Facebook Places, launched last week in the US only, is clearly poised to go global at some point. Facebook has already been through the wringer on privacy, and back again. In privacy-obsessed Europe it gets a double-dose of controversy every time it tweaks the openness of the social graph. So how would you feel about shaking your phone to set the privacy level of your location?

The idea is simple. Navigating menus on a mobile to adjust your privacy levels for that moment in time is pretty tedious.

So Lukasz Jedrzejczyk, a researcher at the the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK (and his and colleagues) have come up with a new take on tweaking your settings. Shake it baby!

With “Privacy Shake” a sideways shake hides your location, while an up-down shake broadcasts it.

Where it all falls down of course is if you are shaking your iPhone out of frustration with the Antenna Death Grip and dropped calls… but I digress.

However, you can’t actually use Privacy Shake yet as it’s simply a proposal for a ‘human computer interface’.

Plus, their research showed that users reported difficulties in getting the system to respond to their shakes, as it was set to the shake ‘signature’ of Jedrzejczyk himself. We have a shake signature? Who knew.

Indeed, it’s not that crazy. Apple is already looking at how move our iPhones up and down as a way of authenticating the owner.

Jedrzejczyk’s work will be presented at the Mobile Human Computer Interaction conference in Lisbon, Portugal, in September.

View more documents from anesah.

(via New Scientist)

  • Jules Morgan

    Cool idea, although be interested to hear how developers can get the iPhone to monitor for the gestures in the background. Maybe it requires the app to be launched, but that would be limiting.

    Currently anyone who’s on Android and with the inclination to do so can use Tasker to monitor for gestures which, either on their own or in combination with other factors such as location, time etc trigger events.

    You wouldn’t be able to replicate this because it requires deeper integration within the app, but it’s still pretty damn cool.

    Intention isn’t to ignite a flame war between these two mobile camps – I couldn’t find another way to say it because it’s a fairly key difference between ‘cosmetic’ background apps and real ones.

  • http://www.iknowthe.net/ Emma Kane

    Love that there is a whole academic paper on “shaking your phone”.

  • http://www.medialinkzone.com Mediaman

    Great idea. What we need to do next is to be able to change the settings on your phone by thinking.

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