According to Chris Shipley, DEMO executive producer, "Jambo's technology combines social software with WiFi to enable people to meet each other face-to-face. It brings the best of online and real world networking together. Moreover, Jambo allows people to use the WiFi cards in their devices to connect to one another directly, without having to go onto the Internet, a whole new use for WiFi."
According to Charles Ribaudo, co-founder and co-CEO, "Every day, people who could make a difference to each other pass each other by. They are strangers and their connections remain invisible opportunities. Maybe they both attended the same school, or one needs what the other sells or one person needs a job and the other is looking for a great employee. But, if people can't see these opportunities, then they can't catch them."
A user goes to the Jambo Networks site, fills out a few questions on personal interests, then downloads a small application. When another user is nearby, Jambo alerts them both. Both Jambo members use their wireless devices to review what they share in common, and then can decide to chat over the Jambo private network, then meet if they wish. To find each other in crowds, they may exchange personal photos. Members can adjust Jambo to make themselves highly accessible or not accessible at all. Another feature, Jambo Taglines, lets users broadcast short general messages, such as, "Looking for fellow bloggers," "Golfing partner needed," or "I want to join a history study group," which all Jambo members within range can pick up. A "Remember Me" feature reminds users of someone's name and where they met as that person comes within range.
According to Jim Young, co-founder and co-CEO, "Jambo takes advantage of a little-known 'ad hoc mode' in WiFi cards, which allows people to use their devices to directly communicate with each other, whether they are in a WiFi-enabled area or not, so Jambo keeps searching for personal matches, whenever a laptop or other portable device is active -- even on an airplane at 30,000 feet." A typical WiFi device has a 300 foot multi-directional range, so a user on one floor of a building can find users on other floors.
In large hotspots, each Jambo member's range extends throughout the WiFi-enabled area. For example, when Jambo's beta is installed throughout all parts of New York's LaGuardia Airport in a few weeks, travelers will be able to communicate with any other Jambo member throughout the airport, a linear distance extending over one mile," Young said.
Jambo Networks will charge affiliations and online networks to allow their members to meet one another face to face. Jambo will then offer users the ability to upgrade to a premium service, letting them match with all nearby Jambo users.
In its initial phase, Jambo is focusing on organizations where WiFi usage is prevalent, including airports, university campuses, certain trade shows and conferences, large organizations and social network providers such as LinkedIn, Tribe and Friendster. The company is partnering at LaGuardia, where 22 million people pass through annually, with Concourse Communications Group, the largest provider of public access WiFi to airports in the U.S. It is also partnering with Washington University, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the 2005 Fuel Cell Seminar in Palm Springs, CA., and at the Software Quality Engineering conference series, beginning in March.
The annual DEMO conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products, which are hand-selected from across the spectrum of the technology marketplace. The DEMO conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies, and have served as launch pad events for companies such as Palm, E*Trade, Handspring, and U.S. Robotics, helping them to secure venture funding, establish critical business relationships, and influence early adopters. Each DEMO conference features approximately 70 new companies, products and technologies. For more information on the DEMO conferences, visit http://www.demo.com.
About Jambo Networks
Based in Dallas, TX, Jambo Networks is a pioneer in personal area matching technology. Its first service, Jambo, is next-generation social software that enables people with shared interests to find each other and meet whenever they are within walking distance. The company markets through partnerships with affinity groups both online and in the real world. The company has filed patents on its synchronization and matching software technology. Founded in April, 2003, the company is privately held.