Bliin is a new location aware service which uses small Java downloads to your mobile phone and a Google Earth powered website to provide a sort of crazy quilt global community application. Why crazy? Well the interface is all over the place for one. And I’m still not completely sure what the whole thing is useful for.
Once you install the BliinGPSXS Java module on your phone and register on the main site for an account, you’ll be able to show the world where you’re tracking at any time. Or show just your friends. Or only you. You will also be able to upload ‘shares’ which are geo-tagged photos of locations you find interesting. So far so good.
I guest the major thing missing is search. You can’t seem to search for friends/people or even places. Worse still, if you click on a potential friend you can end up zooming down to a country you have no chance of identifying unless you zoom right out again. Very frustrating. There also needs to be some sort of ident for each share, as right now they jumble together in a cacophony of overlapping tiles [can you have a cacophony of tiles? – Ed] which makes navigation tricky.
In fact the whole app is tricky to use, which is an interesting phenomena. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful, just that it’s harder to use than it should be. Once you’re logged in, the interface gives you more options to manage your shares, friends and trips (you can log your trips via your GPS phone and save the info for further investigation).
Overall this is a very interesting application, which has a really cool feel about it. Or maybe that’s because it’s such a novel use of the GPS functionality in today’s mobile phone. However, that said, at the moment the interface makes it little more than an interesting service with promise, rather than a must have bookmark. A little more experience with it may change my mind, in which case I’ll let you know. Worth a look (or check out Loki instead?)
On bliin, users can locate and follow friends on a map in real-time, upload media: “Shares” – photos, videos, audio and text to Google Maps or other mapping services. Shares are geo-tagged to the location of capture. Using your mobile phone or desktop PC, you can navigate areas around you in search of friends, family members, colleagues or other users: view their location Shares, and third party location content.