Where Are Your Friends Right Now? Echoecho Will Tell You

Echoecho on iPadDominika wants to know where you are. You can respond or ignore her.

Echoecho is a location-based service that answers the simple question: where are my friends right now?

The service solves a problem with Foursquare and its imitators. With those services, users check in to particular locations. But by the time their friends check the site, they may have moved on to a different location.

With Echoecho, users can send a simple notification to any user on their phone’s contact list. If that user has the app, they’ll see a simple request asking “where are you now?” If they accept the request, the sender will see their exact location on the phone’s mapping application.

If the recipient doesn’t have Echoecho, they’ll get a text message showing them where they can download the app.

The idea is similar to Google Latitude, but that service continuously broadcasts your location, which drains battery life. It also shows the location of multiple people at the same time, which is information than you need. Echoecho is much simpler and more immediate — you ask, your friend responds.

So once you’ve found each other, what comes next? Soon, Echoecho will add a feature that lets users search for nearby locations on a map and then suggest a place to meet. It’s also considering a “annoy-proofing” feature that will block users from sending a barrage of location requests to contacts who aren’t responding.

The app launched last fall and the company’s server was quickly overloaded as more than 300,000 users downloaded it. Echoecho is now seeking funding to build out its infrastructure. It’s also planning to move from its current location in Vancouver, Canada, to California.

The app is available for every major mobile platforms — iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and even Symbian.

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