A new app that allows drunk people — and only drunk people — to communicate on their smartphones has been confirmed as a spoof designed to satirize the start-up community.
LIVR was announced amid the excitement of SXSW Interactive, the tech geek offshoot of the film and music event in Austin, Texas.
News of the app spread in a press release and an accompanying video and website. LIVR supposedly had three key features:
- A breathalyzer attachment for your smartphone which you had to blow into and prove you were drunk enough to use the app.
- A series of useful tools for the inebriated such as local information on which bars were open late and where fellow LIVR users were drinking, a truth or dare social networking game, and the opportunity to make a voice call to another random user.
- A “blackout” button to press at the end of the night (or when waking the next morning) that immediately wiped all records of your activity while using the app.
While many media outlets reported the app, some people were a little skeptical of whether it would have any chance of making it into the iTunes App Store. Gizmodo’s Brian Barratt made the most valid point, which was that the five dollar price of the app wasn’t close to covering the cost of the breathalyzer attachment that came with it.
Barratt later confirmed that the project was the work of video maker Brandon Block and “interaction designer” Brandon Schmittling. They explained it was a response to visiting last year’s CES event in Vegas and realizing that many of the genuine apps being shown off were so ludicrous they couldn’t be distinguished from fiction. In particular, LIVR was meant to spoof Jelly, a cross between a social network and a search engine launched by Twitter founder Biz Stone.
To the credit of the two Brandons, they put a lot of effort into making LIVR believable, even going so far as to apply for a trademark. Then again, it’s not impossible they’ll get offers to turn at least some of the features into reality.