Glympse Offers Real-Time Location-Sharing Via Facebook

Glympse LogoLocation-sharing applications just became even more interesting with Glympse’s real-time dynamic view of a person’s location. Glympse’s dynamic view of location trails is currently being offered through a Facebook application, and could just be the platform necessary for the killer LBS (Location-Based Services) applications to come.

Glympse goes beyond the static information that location-sharing apps such as Foursquare, Stuck and a host of others provide by offering a number of additional features:

  • Privacy features that let a user control who can see their locations: one person or many, whether friend or social network colleague.
  • A dynamic view of a person’s location, shown as a trail on a map.
  • Display of speed of travel between check-in points, and an indication of whether the user is stationary or moving.
  • Control over viewing duration of location data, up to four hours.
  • Integration with Facebook as an application there.

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While not everyone is buying into the use of location-sharing apps, there is incentive on the marketing side. Real-time location trails, on the other hand, would have a number of non-marketing applications. Glympse themselves suggest uses such as meeting up with friends even if plans change, letting them know you’re late/ stuck in traffic and where, and letting friends and loved ones know you reached a destination. (You can send “glympses” via email or Twitter, or publish to their Facebook app with privacy settings.)

However, given the right hardware/ software to leverage real-time trails, other navigation-related uses include following participants in rally races, marathons, expeditions, Amazing Race-types of reality shows and the like. (Other less entertaining uses could be for tracking people normally placed under house arrest but who can now be given a bit of leniency in getting about town.)

If you want to try out Glympse, it’s currently available for free for iPhone/ iPod Touch/ iPad, Android and Windows Mobile devices, with others to follow. You can set up fine-grained Facebook News Feed settings and related privacy controls from the app, once downloaded to your smartphone or mobile device, as well as your Twitter information. When you publish a “glympse” to select Facebook friends’ Walls, they can click on a link to see a dynamic map view. Hopefully, they’ll have an iPad-specific version with additional features, including an integration of location-planning features.

With Facebook coming closer to announcing their own location-based features, it’ll be interesting to see how Twitter or any of the smaller LBS (Location-Based Services) players react, or whether consumers will use such services and how.