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‘Highlight’ app gives a name to the stranger nearby, brings social network to life

So, you are sitting in a coffee shop and looking around you —wondering whom the blonde-haired person is sitting by the window or even the bearded hipster serving the latte. Well, “Highlight” is a free social network app for iOS devices that can now let you creep the world within your vicinity.

Facebook helps users to organize online relationships while exploring professional networks, but it cannot help them interact with those in the “real” world. Whether social networkers are in a –well– coffee shop, or even a restaurant, clothing store, entertainment event or conference, strangers constantly surround them. Anyone is connectable through shared interests or mutual friends, but it is difficult to know who is nearby.

To change this circumstance, install Highlight onto an iPhone and connect to Facebook. The app will alert users to other Highlight users up to a block and half away. From there, profiles with information pulled from Facebook are viewable, and Highlight users can even send text messages to such profiles.  The app essentially helps folks meet new people, while refreshing memory about past relationships and alerting users to friends who are nearby.

More information is available below.

“When you meet someone, Highlight helps you see what you have in common with them. And when you forget their name at a party a week later, Highlight helps you remember it,” explained the app’s description.

Privacy is not an issue with this app, as people only appear in Highlight when they join the service. Users can also choose to be visible only to certain friends, and they have the option to pause the app at any time to become invisible.

“As you go about your day, Highlight runs quietly in the background, surfacing information about the people around you. If your friends are nearby, it will notify you. If someone interesting crosses your path, it will tell you more about them,” the app’s description continued.

Highlight by Math Camp, Inc., currently has a 5-star rating based on 12 reviews through the iTunes App Store (as of press time). It is reminiscent of “Sonar,” as Technologizer pointed out, which is an existing iPhone app revolving around the same idea.

Technologizer’s Harry McCracken said he stopped using Sonar, because it only notified him of his wife’s location and rarely anyone else.

“I got to try Highlight a bit yesterday, before it went live to the general public, and it was hard to gauge its usefulness: with only a hundred people using it at the time, it provided only a partial preview of what the experience might be like once thousands or millions of members sign up,” wrote McCracken. “But I like the idea behind the app. And if a lot of people start using it, the serendipitous feeling of making new friends and encountering old ones could become an everyday occurrence.”

It is worth noting that Sonar offers Foursquare, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter network capability. The app uses publicly available profile information to help users discover connections with people nearby, while allowing people to take their online identity offline.

“Have you ever paid big money to attend a conference only to stand by the peanuts, wondering who is there? So, have we. So has everyone. That’s why we built Sonar. Enjoy,” concluded Sonar’s description.

Sonar by Sonar Media, Inc., is free and boasts a 4-star rating based on 100 reviews through the iTunes App Store (as of press time).

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