New apps help you snag some private time
Cloak and Split's new technology gaining popularity.
What if you could harness the power of social media to avoid people instead of connecting with them?
Two new apps, Split and Cloak, will essentially help you “hide out” from those you’d rather not see, such as a former flame or your boss on your “sick day” at the beach.
Split, an app released in March by the Israel-based company of the same name, aggregates your social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and will alert you whenever people that you don’t want to see are nearby (you flag them beforehand). It will also give you an alternate escape route to avoid seeing them, ensuring that your precious "me time" is undisturbed.
Udi Dagan, Split's chief executive officer, told Reuters: "Everybody has somebody they want to avoid. For some people, it's their exes; for others, it's their bosses or even relatives that they don't feel like bumping into during their free time."
Dagan also told TechCrunch that the idea for the app came after a particularly stressful night. “I ran into two ex-girlfriends in the same night,” Dagan said. “It was an awful night, really … I said, ‘that’s too much.’ I was really frustrated.”
Split also shows you who the avoidees are hanging out with, shows "danger zones" (favorite locales of the people you’re trying to avoid), and will even tell you if you both are attending the same event.
A New-York based company, headed by Brian Moore and Chris Baker, created an app called Cloak, which uses Foursquare and Instagram to tell you where people you are avoiding are. It will also send you a notification if someone you want to avoid is within a half mile to two miles away. Check out CNN’s test of this app:
Though some think these apps show that technology has gone too far, others disagree. Dr. Nicholas Bowman, assistant professor of communication studies at West Virginia University, says these apps and others like it show us what’s so great about technology. "It’s a tool to help us navigate the human experience," he said. "The future of social media, and really the future of communication technology, will be marked by an increase in user customization. That is, future tools will allow us to tailor the amount and detail of information we get about any given object from a restaurant review to a car to a person. It’s going to be up to us, as a result, to decide how we want to use it."
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