One of the most amazingly fun and cool new features of Apple’s Mac OS X is the duo of iChat (an AIM instant message app) and Rendezvous (a dynamic network resource identification and connectivity tool). Either by itself is kinda interesting (rendezvous can automatically sync your laptop and desktop, for example, or, with Bluetooth, keep your cellphone directory up-to-date), but when you have the two together AND you’re on a wireless network, it’s just.. amazingly cool. What happens is that everyone who is running both apps suddenly sees everyone else, and you can, of course, then chat with them.
Imagine that you’re in a classroom trying to puzzle out what on Earth the professor is talking about, when you get an IM from Joe8x saying “do you get this stuff?” You look at your iChat window and, sure enough, Joe8x is listed, along with three other people in the classroom. You respond “no idea, actually. I got the reading, but this lecture? I’m lost.” He responds “well, I think he’s saying that …”
I have experienced this technology at professional conferences, where all of us Mac laptop folk suddenly have the ability to natter back and forth while the speaker is either a) boring us to tears or b) inspiring us to no end. Jake Ludington and I had a great time with this capability when we were in Vegas together a few weeks ago for an Internet entrepreneur conference.
Now expand this idea cross platform and you’d really have something to talk about! There are companies offering a similar solution for Windows only, like Trepia (thanks to Chris Pirillo for telling me about it), but that’s a Windows-only solution and it’s Rendezvous-clueless.
So there’s a killer app for someone to write: a Rendezvous app that understands Wi-Fi and works on Windows. Then, my friends, we’d have some very interesting interpersonal tools arise for busy, crowded areas…