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If you want to find someone at a big event, it’s difficult. “I’m by the big orange thing sort of next to the pretzel vendor kinda” is pretty standard fare for communicating your whereabouts. A new Kickstarter project (via Ross Rubin on Twitter) aims to DISRUPT finding your pals in a busy place with a significant advancement in smartphone technology – colored flashing lights.
The LookFor project is seeking a meagre $1,000 in funding, but honestly it probably doesn’t even need that much to meet its basic design requirements. The app as it stands offers users the ability to select a color from a range of some of the more basic hues, which it then displays full-size while flashing your smartphone’s screen. The idea is that you use some other means (i.e., SMS, or email ahead of time if you know you’re going to be out of cell service in some dank basement bunker for a super secret show) to tell your friend what color to look for, open the LookFor app, pick said color and hold up your phone to show them where to find you.
It’s decidedly old-school, but with a modern twist that takes advantage of hardware everyone has on them at all times, while not depending on some of the more advanced (and less dependable) features like a cellular data connection. It’s genius, and while it isn’t the most technically advanced (creator Logan Riley admits he built it using coding skills he picked up himself), it’s honest about what it does, and seems genuinely useful for things like concerts and making it easy for a cab driver or Uber to know where to find you.
Backers get a copy of the fully functional “beta” version of the app for just a $1 pledge, and if you pledge $5 you get an “analog” version (literally just a card you can keep in your wallet in one color of your choosing). Riley also plans to build in smart features in the future, including iBeacon support for notifications of friend proximity, push notifications and in-app messaging to name a few. Plus, since LookFor becomes a lot less useful the more popular it is (“Look for purple.” “Uh okay there’s like fifteen purples.”) there’s also a planned feature that detects a specific rate of oscillation from flashing devices to tell you which one is actually your friend.
Also, if you’re concerned about compatibility, this is a web app currently, so it should run on a wide range of devices. And yes you could probably code your own in next to no time, but $1 to reward old-fashioned ingenuity isn’t too steep a price.