Lately we’ve seen Google push for location-sensitive reminders in Google Now, especially with the monthly walking counts and parking spot reminders, but it looks like they’re close to finally adding in contact-based reminders and notifications. In short, Google Now will be able to give you a notification about something whenever you’re around a particular person or place.
According to Android Police, the functionality for Nearby is going to be baked into a Play Store Services update, since it will rely heavily on checking some of the hardware on your phone to tell when you’re around another person. Nearby will need location history and location reporting turned on, and will be able to periodically check things like your device microphone, WiFi, and Bluetooth features to figure out where you are. Now, that obviously sounds pretty invasive, but Google looks like they’re serious about protecting personal information with Nearby.
Instead of your device just beaming off your information to any smartphone in a two mile radius, the information is sent to Google’s servers, where it will be matched with other nearby users. If the users are near each other, they’ll be given a proximity notification from Google, not from the other device. It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good solution for those of you that have privacy concerns over this kind of thing. Plus, you’ll still be able to turn the feature off and control who can see when you’re nearby.
There’s a lot Google can do with a feature like this, from targeting Google Wallet offers to people near a particular place, to home automation, to allowing you to set up a reminder to give your buddy back the 20 bucks you owe him the next time you see him. We aren’t going to see this feature implemented in the immediate future, but keep your eyes open in the next few months.
source: Android Police