I’ve been meaning to play around more with Glympse for a while now (tagline: Share your where). Simply, it allows you to share the location of your smartphone with one or many people, for a time-limited window. It’s been around a while now (founded 2008) and certainly constitutes a stable platform rather than something beta.
The use case outlined on the site is a new take on that age-old problem of running late for a meeting. Send the other person a text from the Glympse app on your phone. Limit the visibility to the time you expect it to take. As you and your phone move towards the destination, the other party can see your progress nicely mapped out, zoomable for detail or total progress.
It came back into my mind recently as a result of the London riots, overhearing conversations about getting home safely in the evening. If you used Glympse to send your partner a text or email, they’d be constantly aware of your location, able to see if something knocked you off the expected route.
I tested it out again on a recent journey back from a client meeting, sending my wife a Glympse via SMS. Got a text back minutes later, saying “seriously fantastic, love it”. I think that’s an endorsement…. What I didn’t expect was subsequent usage though – my eldest (4 years old) was pestering, wanting to know when Dad would be home – so she pulled the Glypmse map up on a laptop instead and Harry watched as I drove back across the South East, my phone regularly sending GPS updates on my location. Turns out, he was fascinated!
A sample of the Glypmse map is below – thoroughly recommend checking them out. Only one caveat so far – tracking your position on GPS and transmitting a regular location update murders your battery life. Fine when charging in the car, not sure I’d be so happy on the train…