Yakkit: Location Based Messaging

What is it?
Historically speaking we are living in exceptional times. For a relatively small cost we can be connected with one another 24-7 and carry around with us computational power that could only be fantasized about a few decades earlier. Yet despite this marvel of technology that the mobile device has become it is highly under utilized. We still predominantly build applications for mobile devices as extensions of their desktop counterparts and as such we limit ourselves to the paradigms of desktop computing.

A couple years ago we set out to re-imagine how mobile applications should work. We decided to implement a rather antiquated form of communication: the CB radio. Despite its age we found that the simplicity and human dimension of the CB radio made it a form of communication that was very familiar. No logins, no profiles, no adding friends or waiting for followers, and no searching. You simply clicked the press to talk switch and you were in instant contact with those around you.

Instant communication with those around you is at the heart of Yakkit. The CB radio has been replaced by the smartphone but the simplicity has not. Yakkit uses context provided by your smartphone to make smart decisions about who you want to communicate with and what messages/information are relevant to you. You can instantly communicate with those around you using the chat component of Yakkit or leave messages for others to see using the billboard component. A slight change in perspective has resulted in an app that allows us to experiment with the different ways in which we communicate with one another and explore different avenues for businesses and organizations to interact with their customers/users.


Ronald J. Desmarais, Przemek Lach, and Hausi A. Müller. 2011. YaKit: a locality based messaging system using iCon overlay. In Proceedings of the 2011 Conference of the Center for Advanced Studies on Collaborative Research (CASCON '11), Marin Litoiu, Eleni Stroulia, and Stephen MacKay (Eds.). IBM Corp., Riverton, NJ, USA, 148-159.

For more information and screenshots please visit www.yakkit.com or download the Yakkit app from the iTunes App store (keyword Yakkit).