The pplkpr App Wants To Tell You Which Friends Are Better To Hang With

Don’t know how you feel about someone in your life? By pairing a heart rate monitor with the pplkpr iOS app, you could soon find out.

The app pairs up with any Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor to track your physical response around certain people in your life. Biofeedback from those devices log reactions such as joy, anger, sadness, and then uploads what it determines to be those emotional reactions to the app.

screen_home-1pplkpr then decides if certain people stress you out or help calm you down and suggests un-friending, avoiding or blocking negative people. It can also delete contacts it determines to be bad for you.

On the flip side, the app can suggest you send text messages to good friends or schedule time to hang out with those who make you feel better.

Creators Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald are both artists who came up with the idea as a project to test the quantified self. They’ve created and tested the idea in similar art projects prior to pplkpr, including us+, Social Turkers, and Conversnitch.

McCarthy and McDonald tested a select group of students in an 8-week residency at Carnegie Mellon University for the pplkpr project. They logged students’ emotional responses and stress levels for a week, using the Mio wristband. The two manipulated the students’ social media interactions and monitored reactions to determine if the project would work.

pplkpr is launching just as heart rate monitoring is becoming a standard feature on more fitness trackers and other wearable devices. In addition to Mio, which the company used in its own study, low-cost wristbands with heart rate monitoring built in include the new Fitbit Surge and Charge, the Basis Peak, and even the upcoming Apple Watch.

Even if you don’t have one of these devices, you can still use pplkpr. You just have to remember to log how you feel about a person on the app each time you interact with them.

A video on the pplkpr site says the app will “automatically manage your relationships so you don’t have to.”

The overall promise is to help you spend more time with those who contribute to your well-being and avoid those who stress you out. It does this in a way that aims to excuse you from having to make that sometimes difficult decision yourself.

pplkpr doesn’t tell you if someone you meet has been blocked by others or if you are actually  the one stressing everyone else out, but it does provide a nice excuse to get away from someone.

You can just tell them, “sorry, but my app tells me we can’t hang anymore.”

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