In a world where new socialization is being more and more focused online, people are losing the process that existed for thousands of years beforehand. That would be actually meeting them in person either through similar likes or by mutual acquaintances. Now, app designers are coming up with ways to unite people in real life again.
One of the newest additions to this mix is the iPhone app Highlight created by Paul Davison. It will run on user’s devices in the background and can make connections with people up to 50 meters away. When connections are made either by address, Facebook likes, photos, or mutual connections, each user will receive the other’s profile.
Another new app currently in its beta is called Uberlife. This app also only currently available on iPhones works by creating hangouts or linking users to hangouts in whatever vicinity they choose. Users can be connected through similar likes. It’s a way of making real-life connections by using the user’s interests.
Glancee is an app that many people have probably already heard about. It works a lot like Highlight, and is available on iOS and Android. Users can be notified by connecting through Facebook when someone they know is in close distance at events. It will also notify users whenever someone is nearby who share similar interests. So far, this app has over 10,000 users.
Sonar is really like the rest of these apps. Its purpose is to notify the user of connections they may be missing by “highlighting shared friends, networks, and interests.” This one requires that users sign up using Foursquare which does in return require user to sign up with Facebook. It kind of seems like a reason just to use Foursquare.
One last app is Banjo. This one is a little too extreme for my tastes. While it does work to connect people that are using different social networks. It is more about not missing anything that happens in these other people’s lives than just connecting on a real life scale. While it will keep each user constantly up to date about the other by using Foursquare. I just think allowing an app to automatically check you in every place you go is a bit much.
Out of these I would say Glancee is by far at the top of the list in my opinion. I like how it finds people based on similar likes, but is not shoving it down your throat about every place that they go. Uberlife will most likely be great once it gets more users. By actually creating a hangout, it does not invade privacy, and gives the user the opportunity to meet new people. I would like to have more to say about Highlight because it looks very cool, but I use an Android system phone, and there is no web based app.