by Cory Levy
How many times have you seen someone you wanted to talk to, but did not quite know how? This is the question that led to the creation of One, a mobile application that notifies you when there is someone right next to you with similar interests. People meet their best friends and their spouses by coincidence. Why is that? I found that people are aware of very little around them. At the University of Illinois, I used to walk down the Engineering Quad every single day. Hundreds of people pass me, and I do not know any of them. This is so silly. Technology is replacing face-to-face interaction. Technology is making people unsocial. One is the opposite. I am trying to turn coincidence into a science. One helps you create face-to-face interactions. One connects you to the 99% of the world you haven’t met yet. The implications of the product are boundless, being utilized by students wanting to connect with classmates, people seeking new friends, businesses seeking customers (or vice-versa), or helping potential lovebirds meet. One helps remove the barrier that often exists between people and reveals meaningful opportunities you would have otherwise been unaware of. For example, if you list a major interest as smoothies, you may be alerted that another smoothie-lover is in the room. Or, that a local Smoothie King is giving away discounted smoothies. If you receive no notifications, you can simply click on “smoothies” and learn about a new blend receiving awards, or read recent reviews on popular mixes. Right now, people around you are strangers. This is not by choice, but by technical limitations. We think one day very soon, our kids will say "there was a time when we you didn't know everything about the people right next to you?" One allows you to fill in the blanks. One helps you form meaningful connections with people who would otherwise be strangers.
9th–13th March 2012