Rolling with Cubr. Photo courtesy Sébastien Leidgens.
SAN FRANCISCO — Sébastien Leidgens wants to put a new angle on the business card.
His invention, Cubr, is a six-sided die that connects people through private mobile web chat. When a red, blue or green Cubr is tossed your way, you hit the website or download the app, then enter the code to start your instant message convo or share photos with the person who gave you the die. The enterprising Belgian, a former project manager at a digital marketing agency, is taking a gamble on the idea that people are tired of handing out one-dimensional cards.
“It’s a business card for non-business people,” Leidgens says in an English heavily influenced by his native French. “Young people don’t have business cards. This you can use for private situations in everyday life. It’s a lot more fun and outside of the usual public circles.”
Mobile start-up Bump just announced that it has been acquired by Google in a blog post on Monday.
The company was founded in 2008, making a name for itself on the hot technology of bumping phones together to share contact data. The app has been downloaded over 100 million times, and continues to get updates. The same team released a fairly popular photo-sharing app called Flock last year, as well.
The acquisition was reported on AllThingsD as netting the company somewhere between $30 and $60 million.
Bump, the free, easy file sharing app for Android and iOS, has just updated to version 3.5.6 on both the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store. The new version of the app will let users share any files on their smartphone or tablet with a computer. Previously, Bump users were only able to share files from mobile device to mobile device.
The creators of the popular Bump app that lets you share contact information and photos by simply bumping two phones together has bumped up their magic to include your computer. Thanks to today’s update, users will now be able to “magically” transfer their photos from their phone to their computer by simply bumping their phone against their keyboards spacebar. Say what? Yea, and the best part is there’s no additional software needed!
I’ve always liked the idea of Bump: instead of trading contact details with someone by typing it all in, why not just pull out your iPhone and bump them together and have all the relevant details automagically traded between devices?
In reality, Bump’s main problem is that Apple hasn’t bought them and baked them into the core of iOS. I have Bump on my iPhone, but it’s not often I meet anyone else with it, which means I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to trade contact info with someone with a totally awesome fist bump.
Still, if you hang out with more Bump-centric circles than I, you may well want to know that the latest update added the ability to add a Bumpee as a social network contact on Twitter or Facebook.
Are you still emailing contact cards and photos to your friends? Did you know that you can transfer them instantly with a fist bump using the free Bump app? The best thing about Bump is it’s not just available on iOS, so you can use it to send contacts and images to friends on Android devices and other smartphones, too.
You probably know Bump as the guys behind the iOS app that allows you to exchange contacts by “bumping” your device against someone else’s while the app is running. It’s such a good product that I’m mystified Apple hasn’t stolen their idea, integrated it directly into iOS and put them out of business already.
I’m glad they haven’t, though, because the Bump guys have just posted some interesting statistics gleaned from their 25+ million downloads. According to their figures, over 89% of their users are running iOS 4.0 or above.
When future iPhones gain near field communications technology, the way we use our mobile phones is going to undergo a dramatic evolution. Imagine being able to pay for a cup of coffee by waving it in front of a cash register, or even taking your entire Mac’s file directory with you on the road and automatically transferring it over to a new machine just by bumping it against the display.
That’s all plenty cool, but another way NFC will make the iPhone a cooler device is by building-in a lot of the functionality of apps like Bump, which allows you to share your contact information with another person who has the Bump app installed simply by brushing iPhones together.
I hope NFC also enables another cool function that Bump has just integrated into their app — : music sharing — only with more sophistication. The most recent update to Bump allows you to specify songs from your iTunes collection that you want to share with a friend. It doesn’t do this by squirting the MP3 to your “bumpee” however: instead, Bump stays on the right side of the music labels by plucking the song information from your MP3’s tags and redirecting them to a YouTube clip of the same song. From there, your bumpee is free to enjoy the song and if he likes it, buy it directly from ITunes.
It’s a very clever implementation, but imagine if Apple baked this into iTunes properly via NFC, complete with MP3 squirting. Microsoft’s Zune has had something like that for awhile, but I’d just kill to see it on an iPod.