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Proximity bubble

Dopplr_logoNokia bought Dopplr, so what? I didn't even spend much time updating my dopplr profile with dates and destinations of my travels, so why bother?

Yet, I feel there's something relevant in it – but it took me a while to understand why.

Every time I'm on the move, especially when on business, I wonder how it would feel if I forgot my mobile phone. Over time, I have come to regard it as a digital extension of my person – more than ever, when I'm disconnected by all the usual references and reliable contact points with the reality that surrounds me (family, friends, colleagues, but also public places and services I'm familiar with).

At the same time, the web allows me to keep both my online identity and my sources of information consistent with the normal flow of my life, preserving a greater degree of continuity with what comes before and after the travel itself. It's not just about reading my local newspaper or sending the occasional status update to my family (or to a wider audience, in the unlikely case that they're interested in my whereabouts…): it is just as if I'd have a sort of "proximity bubble" following me wherever I go, making the space around me less unfamiliar, and making me less of a stranger.

By strengthening the connection between the tool that enables this sort of extension (with a more suggestive word, I might have said "proximity aura") and one piece of my networked identity (i.e. a travellers' social network), Nokia opens up a very interesting set of opportunities for new services. Let's see what comes next…