Wireless IP networking company NearVerse has just rolled out an Android version of its LoKast mobile content-sharing app. LoKast is designed to help people within 300 feet of each other share content – music, contact information, text documents – easily between iPhones, and now Android phones, too. So now users can share content wirelessly across operating systems, ie. from iPhones to Android devices.
The new feature is a “really big deal” to NearVerse, according to co-founder and CEO Boris Bogatin. “Proximity means that there are any number of people inside our radius, and for most circumstances that means different cell phones. If we were to limit our app to one platform, it would eliminate us from many situations”, he explained.
NearVerse is also taking advantage of the Android operating systems’ ability to have apps run in the background. Once started, LoKast will run in the background and check to see if other LoKast users are in the vicinity. If it detects other users, it will prompt them to share content, which does away with the problem of requiring that people turn on the app at the same time, and this makes for more serendipitous use cases.
So far, music seems to be the type of content that has taken off with LoKast. Artists (around 40 in all are partnering with NearVerse over the summer, including Third Eye Blind and Echo and the Bunnymen) are using LoKast as a “digital stage” to share exclusive content at live performances. As far as Bogatin is concerned, music makes for a great showcase, but the company sees itself more as providing an experience based on proximity. Other scenarios it outlined include group collaboration in a class environment. LoKast also lends itself also to sharing trailers for movies, which is why movie companies are showing an interest, Bogatin said.
While there are numerous apps designed for sharing content – Bump for “bumping” contact information from one iPhone to another, Knocking Live for streaming video from iPhones to Android phones – Bogatin doesn’t think the space is too crowded. When asked, he admitted that such location-based services as Foursquare, Gowalla and others are sure to be interested in the proximity market and are going to make for competition.
NearVerse launched the original iPhone version of LoKast at last March’s South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The Philadelphia-based company raised $1 million a year ago in seed funding.
See below a NearVerse video demo of sharing content between iPhones and Android devices: