I’d heard of Bump a while back (it was the billionth app downloaded through the App Store, giving it some real exposure shortly after its launch), but because I have a Droid and not an iPhone, it wasn’t available to me at first. Now, the Bump developers have created a version that’s Droid-compatible, so I decided to give it a go.
What’s Bump? It’s a free app from Bump Technologies that allows your smartphone to exchange information by gently ‘bumping’ another. Both of you have to have the Bump app, holding your phones and bumping hands together (like a fistbump but with your phone in your hand). Now, even iPhone to Droid bumps are possible, as are like-to-like phones. How does this bumping thing work?
By using a number of different factors, from geolocation to cloud interface, Bump ‘matches’ the bump registered by your phone with a matching bump by another phone. So it’s not directly sending content or contact information, but both phones are sending stuff out into the atmosphere on your Internet signal, where it gets sorted by a server and an algorithm, connected, and sent to the appropriate phones. And all that happens in an instant.
I set Bump up on my Droid so I could use it at the American Equestrian Trade Association tradeshow this month…I’ll let you know how it pans out in actual practice. (UPDATE: I didn’t have a chance to use it with anyone at AETA; it seems paper horsebiz cards are still the norm. However, my partner JR sent a pic to me (of our dog Bella) using Bump – it showed up as a ‘share’ option. I’ll keep you posted on my Bump experiences.)
Here you can see how some ‘test bumps’ looked on my own phone.
Bump Technologies also offers the ‘bumping’ code via an API key, which developers can add into their own applications. One company integrating Bump into their app is PayPal, which offers a way to exchange money by bumping and entering in the transaction amount. Yes, no need to carry money anymore when you have your smartphone, apparently!
Read more about how Bump works, and the Bump FAQs here. The Droid version lags behind the iPhone version in terms of features and what you can exchange via bumping, but the Droid version allows the exchange of contact information (are business cards really necessary then?), photos, other apps, and contacts. Just met someone and have a perfect contact for them to connect with? Bump it to their smartphone, and you’re done! It looks like you can also bump things from a distance once you’ve bumped with someone, as they remain as a Friend in your Bump network. Intriguing possibilities for horsebiz, methinks.
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