We have designed, built and launched an Android application called nru (”near you”). It allows you to see what you can do near you, based on your current location and the direction you’re pointing the handset. The interaction is very physical as you move the entire phone around your body to see what’s available in different directions. This takes advantage of the fact that the G1 handset uniquely has a compass as well as GPS and accelerometers, so can detect direction as well as position and orientation.
When the phone is held flat, you see your options arrayed in a circle according to the direction they’re in. As you raise the phone up you see the straight-ahead view of what you can do in the direction you are facing. By turning the phone around your body or rotating around you can see what there is in different directions. nru currently has several categories: Bars, Bowling Alleys, Cafes, Cinemas, Clubs, Comedy Clubs, Music Venues, Pubs, Restaurants, Snooker & Pool Clubs and Stations. It is available in the UK and we’re working on the USA and France. The content comes from a combination of fonefood (the lastminute.com mobile restaurant booking service) and Qype.
When you select a particular item you are shown more information. In the case of restaurants, as well as seeing a description, photo, map and any special offers, you can directly book a table.