Inspiration and Background
While parts of our time has had this idea in the past, the inspiration has been whenever you go to events such as a hackathon and are networking with new people. You spend some time getting to meet mass amounts of people, sometimes one at a time, and sometimes whole groups at a time, and then there is this event of swapping contact information. While giving a business card is intuitive and quick, not everyone has a business card and it can be inconvenient when you would also like to connect on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networks.
Enter Ciao. We take pride in the fact that we use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) output signals to turn [currently iPhones] into iBeacons. As soon as the app turns on, your phone becomes available within a local proximity to be found by other users who have the app. Because it uses BLE, it drains far less battery than location services that are used in other applications, and also has great potential for cross OS use. Our team has found iBeacon API's for Android and, because all the data transferred is using a server, we believe easily exchanging contact information and social network connections would be possible between users of different operating systems.
Target Users and the Future
We hope this will be widely accepted by the college community, as well as business professionals and entrepreneurs of all kinds. Anyone who values making connections will surely like the efficiency of our app, and our goal was to create a system that worked quickly and for as many users as possible, without forcing users to use a third party application as their contact list. Future implementations will try to minimize on how much is done in-app, since the ideal situation is for everyone to just click the app, bump everyone's phones together, and then each individual has all of the others' contact information.