Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The 'antisocial network' app that lets you avoid people

main-hero.jpg
untitled-1.jpg
untitled-2.jpg

So much technology is geared to meeting people and making friends these days that it's rather refreshing to come across a device that does exactly the opposite. New iOS app Cloak promises to facilitate an "antisocial network" by tracking your contacts via geo-location - so you can see who's where and how to avoid them.

Cloak pulls data from your Foursquare and Instagram feeds to give a real-time estimation of where people you know will be, "so you never have to run into that special someone."

Touting itself as an "Incognito Mode for Real Life", the app aims to track "where all your friends, 'friends,' and non-friends are at all times", to give you advance warning of where that ex, tricky colleague or over-chatty relative might be.

Once fired up, the app presents you with a map supplied with icons based on people you follow on Foursquare and Instagram. It draws its information from location-tagged photos or the most recent places your "friends" have checked in at.

Instant alerts pop up when a contact comes within a specific distance of your location. The icon fades around four hours after a contact tags a location, to indicate that they have moved on.

"Personally, I think we’ve seen the crest of the big social network,” former Buzzfeed creative director Chris Baker, who programmed the app, told the Washington Post. "Things like Twitter and Facebook are packed elevators where we’re all crammed in together… I think antisocial stuff is on the rise. You’ll be seeing more and more of these types of projects."

It sounds good in theory, although how effective Cloak is depends on how many social networks it can trace. It plans to add more in the future, but has ruled out Twitter because "the location data just isn't there. Most users have it turned off and even when it's on, it's quite vague."

As for Facebook, its "social" antithesis, there's apparently "good data" but "a lot of it" for the app to process.

The people behind Cloak also point out that a lot of "friends" on Facebook are old high school and childhood contacts, so their location probably isn't as relevant.

But a spokesperson told Time that, "We’re going to be thinking about how to include Facebook soon, as well as other networks, of course."

The app is free in the App Store, with no Android version available yet.

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Cloak and Rex Features

Related

sjp-hero.jpg

Infographic shows Carrie Bradshaw's most incredible shoes

hero3.jpg

Rejection letters sent to famous people

kylie-hero-.jpg

Watch Kylie Minogue in our exclusive video

hero.jpg

L'Wren Scott remembered in photos

hero.jpg

History's most notorious female criminals

rexfeatures-2289995a.jpg

Campaign to end gender bias in children's books gains pace

Comments

More

Quiz: which famous duo are you and your work wife?

It’s time to find out, once and for all, who you and your work wife really are…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

You’ve been making your tea wrong this whole time, reveal tea experts

Wait, what?

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Jul 2017

Feed your inner Morticia Addams at these gothic London eateries

And not a unicorn in sight

by The Stylist web team
20 Jul 2017

Designer lattes are the new coffee trend taking over Instagram

Meet the new drink du jour

by The Stylist web team
20 Jul 2017

Two gloriously witchy 90s stars have made a creepy film together

Sabrina and Morticia are a force to be reckoned with

by Amy Swales
20 Jul 2017

Celebrating 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality

Four women tell us what's really changed

by The Stylist web team
20 Jul 2017

The definitive list of TV shows to watch after Love Island

Because leaving the show behind is heartbreak in itself

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Jul 2017

Why you really need to start taking lunch breaks at work

A culture of presenteeism means we're glued to our desks and rarely go outside

by Anna Brech
20 Jul 2017

More and more women are reporting being sexually assaulted on trains

But there could be an upside to new figures revealing the true scale of the problem

by Amy Swales
20 Jul 2017

This is what happens to your brain when you fall in love

Ever wondered where those feelings come from?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Jul 2017