Russian startup Displair came on to the scene with a fascinating product, they designed and developed the world’s first interactive air display with a MultiTouch gesture recognition system. A hugely interesting concept that really did look like something from Minority Report. Picture a sheet of blown humidified air capturing the display of a small discreet projector to show you an image floating in the air. Ethereal in its feeling the moving air gently brushed the projected image creating the impression that you were looking at, and interacting with, something that was almost alive. As you might be able to tell, I liked it. Well Displair have just announced something new and there’s not a new piece of hardware in sight.
Displair have instead developed a new mobile app and brought us Airlike. Designed to let users transfer photos and videos between friends quickly and easily, once both parties have the app installed they can simply point their phones at one another and swipe content from one phone over onto the other. It’s got a few more features than that, but at it’s core that’s what the app is, a way to make sharing your photos and videos painless.
Currently it’s only available for iOS but Android and Windows Phone versions are in the works as well which means that all this file sharing will be cross platform, another convenience. Once the app has been downloaded and opened a profile is created and signed into, then from there people can add friends and allocate different photos and videos depending on what they’d like each to see. This gives the app a DropBox like functionality, so that while the point and swipe ability is promoted you don’t actually need to be with the other person to share content.
One issue to note for those people who have data limited mobile contracts. Airlike is currently set up so that file transfers take place over WiFi or cellular networks, whatever the phone is connected to at the time. This means that if a friend suddenly decides to share a large video file or big group of photos then the person on the receiving end could wind up with a large bill for their data usage. The problem is that there is currently no way to select “download/upload over WiFi only” so while I’d have no problem suggesting users with an unlimited data plan check out the app, those of you who can only use 500MB, 1GB etc per month before incurring fees might want to avoid it until that option is added.
You might want to keep your eye on Airlike though, as well as expanding to reach Android and Windows Phone users they also have plans to add other features to the app as well. Currently in the works is the ability to share contacts, a nice little addition to add to photos and video.
The other idea currently being developed as a future feature is much more interesting though, it is to allow the seamless transfer of money between contacts. As we become more and more tied to our debit and credit cards and use hard cash less often the ability to quickly swipe small amounts of money to friends to contribute towards birthday presents, a meal out, or simply as a gift sounds like a winning idea. It would no longer matter if you had the cash on you, and you wouldn’t need to quickly find an ATM either. I can think of a number of obstacles to overcome to see such a feature come about, but I’ll keep following development on this one, as if they are successful then I could really see it becoming popular.
Can you think of anything else you’d like to be able to easily ‘swipe’ to a friend? Let us know in the comments below.