Launching today, just moments ago as a matter of fact, is a campaign on Kickstarter that should garner the interest of many. Capsules.io maintains that since we’ve become so involved in cyberspace, we are missing out on the physical world around us. Capsules.io is the solution, and I’ll provide some information why here!
What Capsules.io Is
Using GPS-positioned virtual containers, Capsules.io creates a community at any physical location in our world (where there is a data connection of course). This container, called a capsule, can be created by a user of the service, in which they can place pictures,videos, websites or any digital media. All of this so that other users of the service can discover these containers and put the information to good use.
In addition, the capsules can have restrictions on them. A user can create a capsule for him/herself, or only share it with certain people via a password. After speaking with the CSO of Capsules.io, I’ve likened it to digital geocaching. However, unlike geocaching, you can control who opens and views the capsules if you desire.
What Can You Do With Them?
There are so many options, many of which haven’t been realized yet. Time capsules are an option, where you can take pictures or videos of what, say, a building looked like before a renovation, or a park looked like, and be able to go back in a few years time to see hows it has changed. Or maybe you are frustrated at the bus station where its hard to find the schedule. If you open your app, you’ll see someone has saved the website, or maybe a document with the schedule available. Maybe your college or university doesn’t allow bulletin boards anymore since they remodeled their building. Well now you can create one virtually with all the necessary trimmings.
How Can You Find Them?
Using the app’s Discovery Engine, when you are in proximity of a capsule, you’ll see it. You can tap on it and get more information about where the capsule is. When you open it, you’ll be given all the items in the capsule to look at or listen to.
The capsules are customizable in colors, and when viewed in the Discovery Engine, displays badges, a cover image for the capsule and access to the comments section of that particular capsule.
A Few Questions For The CSO
Doug Cohen, the CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) for Capsules.io, graciously answered a few questions for me. You may know him as his alias, WugFresh. For years, he’s tasked himself as a developer, creating tools for Nexus devices for use in Windows, that assists with installing drivers and using adb and root tools.
Jeff: Knowing you’ve been in the development world for a little while now with your Windows based Nexus device tools, what specifically prompted you to get involved, or gave the idea for Capsules.io?
Doug: Numerous instances throughout my life I have been in situations where I wished the content I was looking for was just there for me. For instance, I would pass by a venue and wanted to know more about it; like what it was like inside, if any musicians were playing, or how others felt about it. To accomplish that I would have to seek out the venues name, what street I was on, and any other keywords that would help narrow down my search. Then once I made that search, typically the answers I was looking for would be separated amongst multiple sites or I would have to dig around on numerous subpages.
I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be nice if people could just bundle content and locate it right in the locations that matter? Why can’t content just be there waiting for us?” I realized that there simply wasn’t a platform that offered this, or had the flexibility I was after. There needs to be a system that everyone can build upon.
The more I thought of the concept of a location-based digital dimension, the more applications I realized the service had. I became very interested in the idea and committed to make it a reality.
Then I met William Koch, our CEO, through a good friend of mine. Almost serendipitously, I found out that he had been working on a very similar concept with Mike Kobar, our CTO and had a solid base of code already in development. After talking about concepts and ideas with each other, it became apparent to both of us very quickly that we should join forces and make it a reality.
When our CCO, Maurice Caicedo, joined the team and started working on the visual language for the project, the entire concept really came to life. We decided as a team to make the company official, and work as much as possible to bring the concept to life.
We are now at stage where funding is our only obstacle to launch our platform from prototype to reality.
Jeff: With security breaches happening left and right now a days, is there anything specific in the app or the requests that would lead to information on the user?
Doug: Short answer, no.
Long answer is, our mobile platform operates in both a passive and active mode. Users can download the app and start using it right away without having to create an account, however to unlock the core features of the platform such as picking up or dropping capsules a user must create an account. The only information required for users to create an account is a username, email and password. At the present moment we do not store any sensitive user data (with the exception of the users password of course which are not stored in plain text). After authentication, the mobile app securely queries our servers without maintaining a persistent connection whenever data is needed. Users privacy and security is a major concern of ours, we do not log, save, or track any data on a users location. We are constantly improving our infrastructure and making sure we are current in any known vulnerabilities that may affect our technology stack.
Jeff: This feels like Ingress and geocaching built for the digital world. Is there a little truth to that?
Doug: Unlike Ingress which is just one really cool geo-based game built by NianticLabs, Capsules.io is a complete geo-baed platform that is multifunctional and user-generated. With our service users can utilize the digital dimension however they want, whether it be to augment any location with additional/helpful information, create local access-points for exchanging content with friends, or stashing any type of digital content in unique places for others to discover. Furthermore, when our team is ready to release the developer API, that will open up even more possibilities. At that stage community members will have the tools necessary to build their own games, or integrate other location-based applications into our framework.
Regarding “geocaching built for the digital world.” That is a slightly more accurate description, however our service goes a step further. Capsules behavior and properties can be modified with extensions. Unlike a geocache, you can configure who is able to see capsules, pick them up, add to them, or even what times of day they show up. The extensions listed in our campaign are just the beginning. Capsules.io will have an array of extensions to chose from, enabling users to use capsules in unique ways, and take full advantage of the new digital dimension.
Jeff: Those of us in the Android world know your work under the name “WugFresh.” What prompted the name?
Doug: Haha, the answer to that is not very exciting. Just a combination of some childhood nicknames. I never put much thought into it, it took a life of its own when my hobby project for rooting Nexus devices started to become more popular.
So a huge thanks to Doug for answering these few questions for me, and for getting me the release info for our loyal readers! Head on over to the link below to get in on the Kickstarter action for this great campaign.