Google patents technology to find friends near a friend. Nothing creepy about this. Right?

Google patents technology to find friends near a friend. The technology uses “geo-contact” list, that includes geographic coordinates for contact location data. Position coordinates for contacts’ homes, places of work, and other such locations, are included in the geo-contact list. Nothing creepy about this. Right?

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Patent Information

Patent Number – US 9119029
Patent Title – Finding friends near a friend

Inventors: Bychkov; Eyal (Hod Hasharon, IL), Ron; Uri (Kfar Saba, IL), Margalit; Ran (Ramat Hasharon, IL)
Assignee: Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA)
Family ID: 1000001299329
Appl. No.: 14/164,207
Filed: January 26, 2014

Abstract – A system for finding friends near a friend, including a memory, housed within a mobile device, for storing a contact list including records for a plurality of friends, each record comprising a name of a friend and geographic coordinates of a location of the friend, and a locator for receiving as input the name of a designated friend in the contact list, and for generating as output a list of at least one proximal friend, each proximal friend including the name of a friend, other than the designated friend, whose location is located close to the designated friend’s location.

Claim 1 – 1. A system for finding friends near a friend, comprising: a memory, housed within a mobile device, for storing a contact list comprising records for a plurality of a user’s friends, each record comprising a name of a friend of the user, and a location of the friend; and a locator for receiving as input, from the user, the name of a designated friend of the user in the contact list, the designated friend of the user not being the user himself, and for generating as output a list of at least one proximal friend, each proximal friend comprising the name of a friend of the user also in the contact list, other than the designated friend, whose location is close to the designated friend’s location.

SUMMARY OF THE DESCRIPTION

Aspects of the present invention relate to applications that locate a designated person relative to people and locations whose information is stored within a contact list. Using the present invention, applications can identify the people and locations that are currently closest to the mobile phone of a designated person, and facilitate calling any of such people and locations, and also getting travel directions to reach them.

In one embodiment, the present invention uses a novel “geo-contact list” that includes geographic coordinates for contact location data. Position coordinates for contacts’ homes, places of work, and other such locations, are included in the geo-contact list.

There is thus provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a system for locating a mobile device user, including a memory, housed within a mobile device, for storing a contact list including records for a plurality of contacts, each record including (i) a name of a contact, (ii) a phone number for the contact’s mobile device, if the contact uses a mobile device, and (iii) a list of at least one location entry, each location entry comprising (iii.a) a name of a location associated with the contact, (iii.b) a phone number at the location, (iii.c) an address for the location, and (iii.d) geographic coordinates of the location, and a locator for receiving as input the name of a designated contact in the contact list, for obtaining current geographic coordinates of the designated contact’s mobile device, for obtaining current geographic coordinates of at least one mobile device for at least one contact in the contact list, other than the designated contact, and for generating as output at least one proximal entity, each proximal entity including either (I) the name of a contact, other than the designated contact, whose mobile device is located currently close to the designated contact’s mobile device, or (II) the name of a contact, other than the designated contact, and the name of a location associated with the contact, the location being currently close to the designated contact’s mobile device.

There is additionally provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a method for locating a mobile device user, including maintaining a contact list including records for a plurality of contacts, each record including (i) a name of a contact, (ii) a phone number for the contact’s mobile device, if the contact uses a mobile device, and (iii) a list of at least one location entry, each location entry including (iii.a) a name of a location associated with the contact, (iii.b) a phone number at the location, (iii.c) an address for the location, and (iii.d) geographic coordinates of the location, receiving the name of a designated contact in the contact list, obtaining current geographic coordinates of the designated contact’s mobile device, obtaining current geographic coordinates of at least one mobile device for at least one contact in the contact list, other than the designated contact, and generating at least one proximal entity, each proximal entity including either (I) the name of a contact, other than the designated contact, whose mobile device is located currently close to the designated contact’s mobile phone, or (II) the name of a contact, other than the designated contact, and the name of a location associated with the contact, the location being currently close to the designated contact’s mobile device.

There is further provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a contact list manager for a mobile device, including a memory, housed within a mobile device, for storing a contact list including records for a plurality of contacts, each record including (i) a name of a contact, (ii) a phone number for the contact’s mobile device, if the contact uses a mobile device, and (iii) a list of at least one location entry, each location entry including (iii.a) a name of a location associated with the contact, (iii.b) a phone number at the location, (iii.c) an address for the location and (iii.d) geographic coordinates of the location, a contact list reader, housed within the mobile device and coupled with the memory, for accessing data in records of the contact list, a contact list writer, housed within the mobile device and coupled with the memory, for generating records of the contact list, a data entry interface, coupled with the contact list writer, for entering data provided manually and for importing data from a file into a record of the contact list, a positioning system, communicatively coupled with the contact list writer, for obtaining geographic coordinates of a present location for automatic entry into a record of the contact list, and a positioning service, communicatively coupled with the contact list writer, for obtaining geographic coordinates of a designated remote location, for automatic entry into a record of the contact list.

There is yet further provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a method for managing a contact list of a mobile device, including providing a contact list including records for a plurality of users, each record including (i) a name of a contact, (ii) a phone number for the contact’s mobile device, if the contact uses a mobile device, and (iii) a list of at least one location entry, each location entry including (iii.a) a name of a location associated with the contact, (iii.b) a phone number at the location, (iii.c) an address for the location, (iii.d) geographic coordinates of the location, and (iii.e) reference data for the geographic coordinates, receiving a command to geo-tag a designated location entry in a record of the contact list, acquiring geographic coordinates for a present location, and entering the acquired geographic coordinates into the record of the contact list, as the geographic coordinates (iii.d) of the designated location entry.

There is moreover provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a method for managing a contact list of a mobile device, including providing a contact list including records for a plurality of contacts, each record including (i) a name of a contact, (ii) a phone number for the contact’s mobile device, if the contact uses a mobile device, and (iii) a list of at least one location entry, each location entry including (iii.a) a name of a location associated with the contact, (iii.b) a phone number at the location, (iii.c) an address for the location, and (iii.d) geographic coordinates of the location, receiving a command to geo-code a designated location entry in a record of the contact list, acquiring geographic coordinates for the address (iii.c) in the designated location entry from a geographic positioning service, and entering the acquired geographic coordinates into the record of the contact list, as the geographic coordinates (iii.d) of the designated location entry.

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