“Where are you?” is one of the oldest questions since the telephone was invented (think about it… not much of a question before the telephone since you were standing right in front of them). But nowadays, sometimes you want and need to know quickly, and without a lot of drama or texting.
Enters, “Flares.” Flares is a new mobile messaging service that enables you to shoot visual signals to your friends and family to let them know exactly where you are – when it matters to them the most. The signal works just like a real flare! Flares are accessible for 60 minutes after sending and viewable for up to 40 seconds before expiring from the recipient’s phone
Use them to indicate a meeting spot, let everyone know you’re running late, pester a sibling to get a move on, coordinate drop-off and pick-up locations… Flares can be used anytime you need to quickly send a signal that you care.
Q: Is this only for adults, would it work for families on vacation or shopping?
FLARES: Flares was designed to be a universal mobile messaging protocol based on visual cues- particularly when texting is less effective or not as safe. Today, one can try to explain to their other family members where they are at a ski resort or shopping mall, for example, or simply shoot a flare to all of them as a group in less than one second.
You can update friends and family that you’re stuck in traffic without the unsafe distraction of texting while driving. Flares isn’t just easier than texting, it’s much safer as well.
Q: What is the code base for the app (language)
FLARES: Flares was written in Objective C for iOS 7.0+ mobile devices (iPhone and iPad). The Android version is currently in development and scheduled for an October release.
Q: How long did it take to develop?
FLARES: 5 months.
Q: Do you do all of the development in-house?
FLARES: Server-side development and technical architecture is built and maintained in-house. Client-side iOS engineering was completed by a contact-team based in China with specific expertise in interactive UI experiences. Moving forward, client-side engineering will also be conducted by a FlareWorks in-house team.
Q: What kind of privacy setting options are available?
FLARES: Core privacy is built into the concept of Flares which features a custom-designed, double-trigger, expiry technology. Location flare maps are available for a limited viewing time (40 seconds) before disappearing. Also, if a Flare is not viewed within 1 hour, the flare data (personal location information) will also automatically disappear.
Q: Was there any external funding for the project?
FLARES: To date, Flares has received a small tranche of angel funding from prominent investors based in San Francisco, Seattle and New York City. The company is currently raising a venture seed round of funding.
Q: Is the app also the entire company’s current product line?
FLARES: Yes, Flares is the flagship product developed and published by FlareWorks, Inc.
Q: What’s next?
FLARES: Our short-term focus is on perfecting the current user experience surrounding the use of location flares. This visual device is a communication technique that is less about “where you are” and more about “what where you are communicates to those with whom you share a context”- family, friends and work associates for example.
Ultimately, a flare is a signal that can mean anything the user intends-
Did you pick up the kids?
Did my daughter arrive safely at JFK?
I’m going to be 10 minutes late., etc.
We’ll then propagate the Flares experience across all major smartphone platforms, then open up the service on a global, localized basis.
Version 2.0+ of Flares will incorporate other signal types including customizable flares, photo/video flares, audio flares and note-based flares (for context setting).
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