Hewlett Packard, makers of printers and other stuff that sits in your office not being terribly interesting, is working on an intelligent social-network application for your mobile phone, called Friendlee.
Friendlee keeps track of who you interact with the most, and organises your friends list in that order. Status updates show what those contacts are up to, as well as showing the local time and whether their phone is on, off or set to silent. You'll even be able to see where your contacts are, similar to Google Latitude. You, like your contacts, will be able to control who can see your information. The idea puts us in mind of Xobni, an email plug-in that shows all sorts of fascinating -- ie useless -- stats about your email contacts.
A BlackBerry prototype of Friendlee was previewed at this year's Wireless Enterprise Symposium, and the app is currently being tested at HP's Palo Alto social computing lab, according to the BBC. The research team, headed by Professor Bernardo Huberman, analysed interaction via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and came to the conclusion that your phone is more interested in direct, reciprocal contact than building a giant circle of friends. We could have told you that -- can we have a research grant to mess about on Twitter as well, please?
Prof Huberman and friends will present the app at the Mobile HCI conference in Bonn in mid-September. Friendlee currently runs on Windows Mobile and Google Android. One of the most interesting-looking features is a recommendation engine that allows your close contacts to recommend and give advice on businesses and people. Yes, people, "both socially and professionally". Now that sounds like fun.