People Near Me, Microsoft Docs

People Near Me, Microsoft Docs

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Discovery of People on the Same Subnet

The People Near Me Control Panel

Capability to Invite People to Embark an Application

Publication of Objects


People Near Me (PNM) is a fresh capability of the Microsoft® Windows® Peer-to-Peer Networking platform for Windows Vista™ that permits applications to detect people connected to the local subnet and lightly invite them into a collaborative activity. People Near Me provides a common user practice for sending and receiving invitations and application programming interfaces (APIs) for discovering people and publishing information.

Developers can use the People Near Me APIs to create scripts like the following:

Embark a game with someone at the airport

During a layover at an airport terminal that supports wireless connectivity, you can advertise your interest in playing a popular computer game, detect others at the airport who are also interested in playing the game, and commence a gaming session.

Advertise your interests at an industry conference, and detect those of others

When attending an industry conference that supports wireless connectivity, you can use a PNM-enabled talk client to advertise your specific interests within that industry or search for others that have your interests.

Use a collaboration application for file sharing or screen projection

Quickly and lightly collaborate with other people in the conference room without injecting computer names or Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

People Near Me provides developers with four significant services:

Discovery of people on the same subnet

Capability to invite people to embark an application

Publication of objects (arbitrary data published by a person)

Discovery of People on the Same Subnet

People Near Me uses Web Service Discovery to publish a user’s friendly name, computer name, IP address, and the port on which the People Near Me service is listening. Developers can use the People Near Me APIs to collect this information from everyone on the local subnet.

The Windows Meeting Space invitation dialog box uses the People Near Me APIs to find nearby people and invite them into a meeting. The following figure shows an example.

A user can stop publishing their information by signing out of People Near Me with the People Near Me control panel.

The People Near Me Control Panel

When active, People Near Me displays an icon in the Windows Taskbar. This icon communicates People Near Me status (signed in, or signed out). The following figures showcase the different icons for People Near Me status.

Example of the PNM icon when signed in:

Example of the PNM icon when signed out:

The user may dual click the taskbar icon to open the People Near Me control panel. The following figures display examples for the Settings and Sign in tabs.

This control panel permits the user to sign in and out of People Near Me, select invitation security settings, and switch the friendly name that is published to others.

Capability to Invite People to Embark an Application

After an application has discovered a nearby person, it can invite them to launch an application and connect. The application establishes an encrypted connection with the People Near Me service running on the target user’s computer, and then transmits an invitation consisting of Extended Markup Language (XML) data. This invitation consists of the following elements:

A globally unique identifier (GUID) identifying the application

Every PNM-capable application must be registered with People Near Me. Usually this registration happens when the application is installed. An installer supplies an identifying GUID, the path to the executable, a description, and some security information.

A user-defined message to display to the receiver of the invitation

For example, to invite someone to view your latest vacation photos with a photo sharing application, you might send them the message ",Take a look at the photos I took in Hawaii.",

Any extra data that an application needs to begin a connection. This usually includes the IP address and port number of the application sending the invitation.

After receiving an invitation, the PNM service will verify that the application is installed and available. The PNM service will then display the invitation using a message dialog box. The following figure shows an example for Windows Meeting Space.

You can click the View button to expand the invitation. The following figure shows an example.

If the invited user accepts the invitation, PNM will launch the requested application, passing all extra data bundled in the invitation to the application.

Publication of Objects

People Near Me can be used to publish more than just names and IP addresses. People Near Me can also be configured to publish blobs of extended information, such as the user’s interests or individual details. These blobs are called objects.

After discovering a nearby person, an application can query that person for all the objects he or she is presently publishing. The application can then subscribe to these objects and will receive alerts whenever they are switched.

Objects permit application developers to use People Near Me to help users find people of a certain description or capabilities.

Contact Management

People Near Me integrates with the Windows Address Book to provide functions for long-term contact management. The very first time the People Near Me services starts, it creates a “Me” contact in the Windows Address Book identifying the local user. This contact includes a digital certificate. Certificates are useful for verifying identity and establishing encrypted communication channels.

Users can add trusted contacts to the Windows Address Book by exchanging “Me” contacts with trusted people. A user can give his or her contact information to another person by copying his or her “Me” contact out of the address book then pasting it into an email message. The user receiving the email message must copy the linked contact information out of the message and into their own Windows Address Book.

You can always be sure of a trusted contact’s identity, but you cannot be sure that random people discovered using People Near Me indeed are who they say they are. Users are strongly encouraged to promote only friends and coworkers to trusted contacts in order to avoid spoofing.

People Near Me provides extra functionality for trusted contacts. For example, you can determine the presence of a trusted contact (online, offline, etc.) and invite them to run applications over the Internet. Trusted contacts do not have to be on the same subnet for People Near Me to work.


People Near Me is an arousing fresh way for people and applications to advertise themselves and their interests for effortless connection and collaboration. This fresh Windows Vista technology makes it effortless for developers to build collaboration applications by providing services for people discovery, application invitation, object publication, and contact management.

Related Links

See the following resources for extra information:

For the latest information about Windows Vista, see the Windows Vista Web site.

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