A buddy finder for large-scale events

Olofsson, S., Carlsson, V. and Sjolander, J. (2006) The friend locator: supporting visitors at large-scale events, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 10: 84–89. This paper is about the fact that during large-scale events, people tend to lose each other and a LBS system might support the "friend locator feature". It describes the findings of an ethnographic field study that was carried out during a music festival in Sweden. Well, it's another "where is my buddy?" system, in a design phase.

Why do I blog this? I am less interested in such a system than by the possible new applications the atuhors envision:

We believe that the friend locator also would be usable at other types of large-scale events e.g., at a rally it could be used to see where a specific competitor’s car is located, and the distance remaining until it passes the position of you as a spectator could be measured in order to estimate the time left. When the competitor moves between the different stages again, the GPS could be turned off to prevent a surprise from the fans. At large football tournaments for children, a team could be allowed more freedom if the coach could easily communicate and locate the entire team through a friend locator.