Bump, the popular mobile sharing app that lets users exchange photos and information by bumping their smartphones together, is getting in touch with a new device: the computer keyboard. And it appears to also be taking on a new frontier: cloud-based photo-sharing.
Now with 85 million downloads of its app under its belt, Bump is beta testing a new, very simple service that lets users of the app select a photo on their phones, navigate to bump’s site on their computer, bump their space bar on their keyboard with the phone, and then see the image magically appear on the screen. From there, a user can keep it in the Bump cloud, download it to their computer, post it to Facebook or send someone a link.
Photos.bu.mp is very basic at the moment, and Bump itself hasn’t done much yet promote it. There’s precious little info on the site itself, too — although that makes discovering what it does part of the fun.
And according to this post from the Dutch blog iPhoneclub, it seems to only work if your phone and computer are on the same network (that is, both on a WiFi network, which is what I used to test it). But it is a very nifty little trick and a great, cord-free alternative for getting pictures from your phone to computer, and beyond — especially when they are big files.
Update: Since posting this story, I’ve had a chance to talk to David Lieb, the co-founder and CEO of Bump, who tells me that in fact your phone does not need to be on the same network as the computer. Bump, he said, has been running this in a semi-private beta and to gauge people’s response to the service before taking it further. The reaction has been “extremely positive.”
“This might not be the only way to share photos, but what we wanted is something that is the easiest way for most people in the world,” he said. The idea, he added, is to “lower the tech hurdle enough so that most people use it.” He envisions potentially more extensions added, too, depending on what users ask for. Dropbox and Picasa integration are two options, he said.
There are other options for how Bump could use this technology longer term. For example, if you are buying something online, and you have payment information stored in your phone, you could use the phone-tap-to-space-bar route to quickly pay for things (reminiscent of how NFC will supposedly one day work for all of us). Payments are one of the new areas of service that Bump has been exploring, with a recent PayPal integration. “We chose photos because we see that this solves a real painpoint [getting pictures from your phone to your computer] but if we can see another area we’ll certainly explore that, too,” said Lieb.
Bump, which told us today that it has somewhere north of 85 million installs of its app on iPhone and Android devices, has, as we’ve pointed out before, so far cornered the market for the mobile-to-mobile sharing space.
It’s services like this one linking that bumping motion with the space bar on the keyboard that point to just how much potential that simple idea has.
Bump Technologies builds mobile applications and APIs that allow two smartphones to identify one another and connect by simply being bumped together. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Mountain View, California. Bump Technologies is funded by Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and other angel investors.