How do you know where the trains are?
All of the information provided to the system is contributed by the actual riders in these trains. However, the riders do not need to do anything other than turning on their smart phones (for any reason) while they are in those trains. When the GPS in the phone detects that the user is moving in a vehicle, the app sends pings to karmaME servers and our servers determine the location of the trains and feed it back to the other users waiting for the same train at later stops.
What do all the icons mean on the map?
Good question, here are some screenshots that explain what they mean.
The screenshot on the right is what you see when you launch the app (Mouse over the image to zoom).
Your current location is marked by the Golden Star.
The green train icon is where you're located at that moment.
The blue dots are the train station locations (click on them to see the name of the station - in this case, it is "Avenue U Station").
If you have a few minutes before the train comes, click on one of the orange icons to get a food deal.
Blue dollar signs are other deals around you that might be interesting to you.
When you click on an orange icon, you'll see a summary of the deal (as seen on the second screenshot to the right).
If it sounds interesting, click on Redeem to see the details of the deal and make a purchase.
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The green train icon shows where the train is at this exact moment.
Click on the green train icon to see where the train is headed to.
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Can I use karmaME with my Android, iPhone or Blackberry?
We only have karmaME for Android right now. However check back soon for iPhone version availability. Sorry Blackberry.
So the phone uses the GPS, how will it affect my battery?
It depends on how often you use your phone. Most of our alpha users did not see a significant change in their battery life. Our survey indicated that the app reduces the battery life of a phone by approximately 5% - 10%.
So you are using my location data. What about my privacy?
Please see the "Privacy" section for further info. But in short, we do not know who you are, we only collect your device ID which can't be used to identify you and we do not share this information with anyone. Seperately, our servers only receive your location data when you are moving in a vehicle, not when you are chilling out at a café.
Why do you collect my Device ID then?
We're glad you asked that. With your device ID, we can see how much data you contribute to karmaME and how much Karma you share with your community. These karma points will earn you some goodies down the road, maybe even free metro cards, and bragging rights of course.
What areas are covered by karmaME now?
We are currently only operational in NY, NJ and MA. We will selectively add new states and new countries (yes, karmaME can work anywhere on the globe where there is public transportation). Please check back to see when coverage for additional areas is available. Or email us and ask to be on the priority list, if we get enough interest from a particular area we will activate the service there first.