Cool UI: “Shake & Share”

Doing things securely is obviously a good thing. But it rarely adds anything amusing to the thing itself.

Well, as “security” user-interfaces go, the “Shake & Share” feature on the ZeptoPad iPhone app is a rare thing. ZeptoPad lets you draw, even mind-map, on the iPhone. It has a good UI, and an amusing slightly retro, “MacOS Classic” look. And it has cut-and-paste.

“Yes, yes, all very cool. What’s so interesting about an ‘Etch-o-Sketch 2.0’ app”?

Well, it does file sharing, in obvious and easy ways, largely by importing and exporting photos. But the really cool bit, is sharing files with another ZeptoPad user. You hold the two units together in your hand, and shake them back and forth. ZeptoPad uses the accelerometers to generate a shared secret, and transfers the selected file.

And that is very cool.

A YouTube video shows the app in action, with a Shake & Share demo at the end.

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2 responses to “Cool UI: “Shake & Share”

  1. How does it do the transfer? I thought the Bluetooth stack on an iPhone was crippled and disallowed file transfer. Does it use mDNS if they are both on the same subnet on a wifi network? What if you are not in a hotspot? Does it use the 3G network subnets (???)

  2. When I first wrote this, I wasn’t able to find the details. (The web site seemed to be an incomplete port of non-English documentation)

    It seems they’ve added info since I last looked, and the transfer depends on a common Wi-Fi access point. says:

    “First, tap on the MENU iconof the ZeptoPad, which will send the worksheet and select “Shake&Share”. Make sure the ZeptoPad, which will receive the worksheet, displays a blank worksheet.At this time, both iPhones (iPod touches) must also be connected to the same Wi-Fi access point.

    When all preparations have been made, shake both iPhones up and down at the same time.To ensure the most reliable transmission, start shaking the iPhone receiving the worksheet a little before the other iPhone.”

    It’s a little fluffy, I admit, but there are *so few* entertaining mechanisms in security that it just grabbed my attention. :-)

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