Cloak: An Antisocial App That Warns You When ‘Friends’ Are Near



An “antisocial” app offers users the ability to avoid people who you aren’t too keen on seeing in real life.

The app is something of an anti-Foursquare. You connect it to other applications (including Instagram and Foursquare itself) and then get a map of any of your contacts who are near you, along with an alert when they are within a particular radius.

There are some major limitations. As yet it doesn’t support Facebook, which seems to be the most likely outlet for people you choose to befriend online (or feel obliged to do so) but wouldn’t always want to see in person.

More to the point, the technology is neutral and the “avoid people” angle is really just a matter of perspective. There’s no reason you couldn’t pitch the same app as being a way to find which of your friends are nearby, which is pretty much FourSquare.

The Huffington Post has also noted a major flaw: the Instagram data comes when somebody posts the photo, which may be long after they’ve left the location concerned.

Co-creater Chris Baker does have form on antisocial technology. He previously created a browser extension that removes pictures of babies from your Facebook newsfeed.

App Magazine editor Nick Jones told the BBC there wasn’t any real need for an app such as cloak. He speculated it may be an attempt to gain interest in the app and then sell it to Facebook.

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