Wanted: New Friend; Must Have Bluetooth

Another creative Idea that may not really be fancied by people who like protecting their privacy. But this could open up a new subset of close-range communications. After all, nothing beats being able to challenge nearby strangers on a game or two via bluetooth!

Student Gracinia Lim has made new friends thanks to mobile phone software that alerts her to compatible people nearby. She is an early customer of a service in Singapore called BEDD that uses Bluetooth wireless communications to scan strangers' phones for their personal profiles.

The application joins a swelling number of Internet and mobile phone based services that offer to widen people's social networks. Users download the BEDD software into a compatible phone, complete a short profile of themselves and include a description of who they want to befriend, or an item they want to buy or sell. The software automatically searches for and exchanges profiles with other phones that come within a 20-meter (65 ft) radius. Matched users are given each other's contact details.

"I've become close with people that I've never known before, built up a close clique of friends whom I chill out with, sleep over at their homes and go for late suppers with," said Lim, 19. The software, created by futures trader Stephen Carlton and Swedish engineer Olle Bliding about three years ago, was launched last month in Singapore and will be rolled out in most of Asia by year-end. It costs S$0.98 ($0.571) for 30 days of unlimited use.

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News source: Yahoo! Tech

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