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Small talk is an important social lubricant that helps people, especially strangers, initiate conversations and make friends with each other in physical proximity. However, due to difficulties in quickly identifying significant topics of common interest, real-world small talk tends to be superficial. The mass popularity of mobile phones can help improve the effectiveness of small talk. In this paper, the authors present E-SmallTalker, a distributed mobile communications system that facilitates social networking in physical proximity. It automatically discovers and suggests topics such as common interests for more significant conversations. They build on Bluetooth Service Discovery Protocol (SDP) to exchange potential topics by customizing service attributes to publish non-service-related information without establishing a connection.
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