FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A. Is Poken a new online social network, competing with Facebook?
No. Poken is a tool for social networking that can be used across many social networking platforms. We do not want users to have to change social networking sites, or to have to re-connect with all their friends. There are many great applications available on existing social networking sites, and we believe users should continue using the ones they are used to. Poken will simply tie into any one of your social networking accounts and make it easier for you to connect with new people, by letting you connect immediately when you are physically in their presence. We want to save you the hassle of having to search for new friends later, when you’re sitting in front of your computer. Your time is better spent socialising in the real world, or using great tools online to improve your social life.
B. Will I need to create a whole new social networking account, AGAIN? I’m tired of uploading my photos, telling my life story, and creating a new network of friends
The goal of Poken is specifically to help you with this “not again” syndrome. We do not ask you to create a new social networking account. For example, instead of asking you to upload your photo we simply ask you which of your current online social networking profile photos should be used for your Poken. Whenever you change your photo on that account, it will automatically be changed on your Poken as well. The main information that you are asked to fill in on the Poken portal is the list of social networks you belong to. We need that so we can help you connect with any new friend you touch using your Poken!
C. I’ve heard that Poken wants to work across social networking platforms. Will Poken let me manage one single list of friends, which I can then use on all of my social networking accounts?
Yes and No. Putting in place the standard for managing one single group of friends across social networks is a very large and complex initiative that is being coordinated industry-wide, and several discussion groups have formed to try and make it a reality. You can find more information by following these links:
Poken on its own can’t solve the social network portability issue, but we are taking part in the initiative to make things easier for this dream to come true. In order for your network of friends to be “portable”, all the social networking websites will need to collaborate so data can be exchanged freely, and most importantly securely. Poken will play an important role in making this a reality by providing a secure way of connecting with friends, as well as a secure way of identifying a user who connects to her social networking account. What we are implementing first, in the direction of social network transparency, is giving our users the ability to connect to anyone else using a Poken, regardless of what social network they are on. We manage the mish-mash of different social networks on our servers, and users can choose on which network they want to interact with each one of their friends. For the future, we are staying up-to-date on the overall effort to make data portability a reality, and will implement any industry standard that comes out of the joint efforts of all the Social Networks and which makes our users lives easier.
D. What are the main advantages of using Pokens to connect to my friends and new contacts?
Our core offer is built around some very simple new concepts that will bring a whole new dimension to your social networking:
1. You connect to people in the real world, where and when you meet them. What’s more natural than linking up with a new friend on the spot, rather than scribbling an email address or a phone number on a paper napkin and later having to search for them on Facebook?
2. We record the time at which you connect to people. And since you’re connecting in the real world, it’s a valuable piece of information that lets you view your network in a timeline. So when you’re wondering what’s-the-name-of-the-person-you-met-two-weeks-ago-when-you-were-with-Bob-at-his-cousin’s-party, instead of tediously going through your whole alphabetical list of contacts, you can simply scroll back in time on your Poken timeline and see who that person was.
E. Does Poken, as a company, need to have partnerships with all the major online social networks before my device is of any use?
No! We are building Poken around the Open Social standard, and making it compatible with some other common languages such as Facebook Markup Language. That means that we can already offer many aspects of Poken functionality to our users without actual strategic partnerships with the social networks. Of course, we’d like to make the service as smooth and as complete as possible, so we are talking to social networks about integrating more Poken functionality.
F. If I am on Facebook and Linked-In, and I “Poken” someone who is on Friendster and MSN, how will we interact?
Well, that’s up to you to decide. It’s just like languages- if you meet someone who speaks some other languages, you try to find a common one for your conversation. In your Poken account you will see your new friend, along with a list of the networks he belongs to. If you’d like to interact with him using the tools that Facebook provides, we’ll make it easy for him to open a Facebook account. If you prefer to use the tools MSN provides, we’ll make it easy for you to be connected to him on a new MSN account.
What we bring are a few tools that help in this first interaction with new friends:
• You can see all the networks your friends are on (if they chose to list them), and you can instantly “connect” to them on those networks.
• If many of your friends are on a network that you are not a part of, we will offer you the suggestion of opening an account on that network so you can more efficiently interact with all those friends. Chance are you’ve been missing out on something!
G. Where can I get a Poken?
You'll soon find out! We will make sure you notice when Pokens are available in your area... ;)
H. How much will they cost?
Our aim is for Pokens to be affordable for any student. The retail pricing should be around the price of a simple cocktail in a bar.
I. Poken has a USB connector. What type of computer do I need to use Poken with?
There is a USB connector on every Poken so that you can upload your new contacts to your Poken account after touching them in the real world. You do not need to install any software on your computer. You only need to plug your Poken into a computer that is connected to the Web. Depending on the OS (Operating System) that you use (Mac OS, Windows, Linux) when you insert your Poken the auto-launch may not work automatically, so you may need to double-click on the “Go_Poken.html” file that appears on the Poken drive. Poken is recognized by any computer as a standard USB memory stick with a few files on it.
J. What happens when you plug your Poken into computer’s USB port?
A web browser window opens and you can log into your Poken account to manage your Poken contacts across social networks. If you have not yet registered your Poken, you will first be asked to enter some information about yourself and the social networks you belong to. We make it as easy as possible since we don’t want to weigh you down with another social networking account to manage.
K. When I get a new Poken, do I need to find a web-connected computer to register it on before I can use it?
You can start using a Poken as soon as you have it in your hand. If you get a Poken in an event or in a pub, you can already start adding people to your existing social networks before registering the Poken. The Poken will store all the new contacts, which will be uploaded to your account as soon as you register it. The only caveat is that before you register online, your new contacts are not as safe because you haven’t yet set a Poken password.
L. What information is stored on a Poken? What if I lose the Poken, will someone else have access to my personal details?
There is no personal information stored on your Poken. The only thing contained in your Poken is a random number we call a “Poken ID” and some encrypted codes that relate to other Pokens you’ve touched. If you lose your Poken, nothing personal is exposed.
If someone else plugs your Poken into their USB port, without your password they can’t do anything with it. Even the contacts you’ve accumulated in your Poken are safe: They are encrypted using a very advanced encryption method, and are only accessible in your account. Furthermore, since you’ve already uploaded your previous contacts, your data is safe and sound. You can simply get a new Poken, and when you register it, link it to your previous account and you’re all set to keep socializing as if nothing happened.
M. What if I only what to share part of my information with someone I Poken? Maybe I don’t want to give them access to my full Facebook account… you know, all those party pictures…
A lot of people have participated in our Alpha tests and given us a good indication of what you may or may not want to do with your Poken. The good thing is, we’ve developed Poken in just the right way… to please most of you. We won’t tell you about all the nice features in this FAQ, but I will explain an important one relating to this question.
Your Poken has a “Discrete” mode. If you double-squeeze the palm of your Poken’s hand (like a double-click), it enters “Discrete” mode, which means for the next 30 seconds any person you touch with your Poken will not receive your real Poken ID. They will receive your “ghost ID”. You, on the other hand, will have their regular ID so when you login to your Poken account you’ll see all the details they’ve elected to share. When the person you’ve “ghosted” logs into their account, instead of seeing your details they will see a ghost. It’s only once you’ve looked at their account and accepted online to be linked to them that they’ll be able to see who the “ghost” was. Hey Gents, don’t complain! This is so much better than getting hit by a fake phone number: at least she can still change her mind, and give you access to her page!
You can set different levels of ghosting so you can choose how much to share with the people you Poken with.
An alternative to ghosting is for you to have two or more Pokens on your keychain. You can then associate one to your LinkedIn account, another one to your Facebook account, and so on.
N. How many contacts can be stored on a Poken?
We developed Poken with low cost and usability as our main objectives. We’ve had to balance these two objectives on this first version of Poken and this is what we’ve achieved: You can Poken approximately 100 people before you need to connect to a web-enabled computer to upload your contacts. There may be a few occasions where some of you ultra-socialites would have liked to connect with more than 100 people at once, so what we can suggest is that you simply get 2 or more low-cost Pokens. Both can be linked to your single account, so all your contacts will end up in the same place.
Alternatively, at a very social event (such as a convention) the organisers can simply set up a web-enabled computer with an accessible USB port, so that users can upload their contacts.
O. Changing the Battery
In regular use, your poken's battery should last approximately six (6) months. If you use the Light Show effect a lot or connect to hundreds of people every month, you may need to change it sooner.
When your battery runs low the status light on the poken blinks at regular intervals when it is inserted into your computer's USB port. You should then change your battery soon. Even if your poken's battery runs low, you will not lose any contacts if you have it inserted into your computer because it does not use any battery power.
To change the battery, use a small flat screwdriver to delicately pry apart the top and bottom halves of the poken hand. Replace the battery using the same type (Lithium CR1632) and gently sap the shells back together.