Hotspotio, a new Android app that lets users exchange WIFI for favors, is helping people avoid spotty, slow connections by linking them up to WIFI and 4G networks that belong to friends and charitable strangers. In exchange for WIFI access, easily located on the Hotspotio map system, community members can return the gift of WIFI access with a hug, drink, Facebook ‘like’ and more.
“The days of buying overpriced coffee and snacks just to get WIFI are now over,” said Simon Schultz, partner at Prehype, the venture development firm behind Hotspotio. “With Hotspotio, our goal is to make fast, reliable WIFI available in any part of your city–in exchange for a simple and often free favor.”
Unlike typical WIFI network sharing, which requires people to enter a long complicated password, Hotspotio allows community members to access WIFI in one click. This codeless sharing system is faster and more secure than handing out the actual password.
Individual users and businesses have the option to share their 4G or WIFI connection. They simply enter the network password, select to share with friends, friends of friends or the public, and then designate types of favors they would like to receive in exchange for WIFI. The Hotspotio community benefits from the WIFI network, and the sharer gets social currency and favors in exchange.
“Bicycle sharing, ride sharing and even couch sharing found enormous popularity around the world,” said Schultz. “We think WIFI sharing has the same potential.”
Hotspotio’s GPS-enabled map feature makes it easy for users to find all the available hot spots in the network. For people who are on the go and suddenly need WIFI for a work issue, or people just want to share a YouTube video with friends without long 3G loading times, Hotspotio ensures that they can get a solid connection without paying up for expensive public connections or coffee they don’t want.
After a couple of months of piloting the app, the Hotspotio team has also made some significant improvements in version 1.1, the newest release. An enhanced network listing makes a clear distinction between available Hotspotio networks and others in the area, while push notifications now inform network owners when a user connects to their WIFI. Version 1.1’s updated map also clarifies available networks with color-coded pins.
Hotspotio is the brainchild of Socialite Labs Inc, a Prehype venture based in New York. Prehype, a product incubator that helps corporations build new digital companies, has worked with Coca-Cola, Intel, Verizon, Kraft-Mondelez, NewsCorp, Lego and Unilever, among others. Prehype has also worked on high-growth startups like BarkBox, Path, Percolate, Issuu and Hot Potato, a check-in service that sold to Facebook in 2010.
To download Hotspotio, visit Google Play
To learn more about Hotspotio, visit www.hotspotio.com
Hotspotio, WIFI for favors, is a fast and secure way to get or share a WIFI connection without entering a password. A free Android app, Hotspotio lets users gift a WIFI connection to friends or strangers in exchange for favors like a drink, hug or Twitter follow. No matter where you are in your city, Hotspotio lets you track down the nearest free WIFI–and show some love to the nice person who made it available.