A D.C. man’s new free app promises to put the “social” back in “social networking” by letting users know who they know wherever they go.
“What SocialRadar does is it’s a mobile application that gives you real time information about the people around you,” Michael Chasen said.
Chasen says his app will help users work the room.
“The idea is you can walk into a room; go to a meeting, an event, a conference; look down and it’ll say there’s 10 people you know – four coworkers, three people from college, a friend from high school, someone from your block, two friends of friends, and by the way, one of your friends from college recently got their MBA and another one was recently married,” Chasen said.
Cell phones are location beacons, with GPS always signaling where people are, and people are always funneling information about themselves to various social networks.
“There are now a billion location beacons in the world, smart phones,” Chasen said. “There are 2 billion user profiles up in the cloud – your Facebook profile or other profiles. No one to date has successfully integrated that location data with that profile data to make it useful so that when you walk into a room you are aware of the people around you and how you are connected to them, and that's the idea behind SocialRadar.”
This allows the user to always be able to maximize networking ability.
“If you go into a room, you know all of the people you’re connected with,” Chasen said.
It can work for business or pleasure.
“How many times have you gone to a restaurant only to realize just as your leaving that a friend of yours was sitting right around the corner just out of your view or how many times have you been in an airport and just randomly run into somebody you didn’t realize was also taking a flight at the same time?” Chasen said. “How many connections have you actually missed because you didn’t get up and look around the corner in the restaurant or you didn’t walk by the person at the exact right time in the airport? Basically, with SocialRadar you would know which of your friends are nearby.”
SocialRadar also has a setting that lets the user be invisible or anonymous to others with the app.
“So if you don’t want anyone to see you, you can say I’m invisible,” Chasen said. “You can still see who’s around you but yet you’re not sharing any of your information.”
An American University graduate, Chasen created the Blackboard Learning System right out of college. He’s developing SocialRadar at a tech incubator in downtown D.C.
“I think that this type of technology is the next giant step,” he said.
The SocialRadar app will be available in 2014.