Toss Information Between Phones, But Be Careful

Over the years there has been many different ways to transfer information between mobile devices. In the Pocket PC days we used infrared to beam information between two Pocket PCs, and because infrared requires line of sight, the two devices had to be perfectly aligned with each other. Next came Bluetooth, which provides a wireless way to transfer information between devices, but requires that both have the same Bluetooth profiles, be turned on, and configured to send and receive information.

Today I found a very intriguing application called Hoccer that transfers information between two devices, which can be two Android phones or an Android phone and an iPhone. The transfer method involves sending files via the Internet, so the devices must be connected to the Internet. The source and target for a transfer is determined by the GPS location of the devices and whether the device is in the send or receive mode. Putting a device in either mode involves moving the phone in a specific way, for example to send an item you move the phone horizontally like you are throwing a frisbee. The following video shows you how this works:

Video courtesy of Hoccer

While I find Hoccer to be very cool, I am concerned about the security of the information being sent. While Hoccer’s web site doesn’t explicitly say it, the information must obviously be stored on their servers and I don’t see anything suggesting that the information is encrypted in anyway, so there may be nothing prevent someone from taking the information once it is on their servers. You also do not have control over who specifically receives the information. Any device that is in the same proximity as yours, and is prepared to receive information, will receive what you send. Consequently, because of these security issues, I recommend that you don’t use this program unless you really don’t care that anyone could get what you send. Still, give the company credit for applying some innovation to the problem of transferring infromation between devices. Hopefully they address the security concerns that I have explained above.