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New app the Highlight of SXSW

Monday, 26 March 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

start-up-idea-highlightA simple stroll through the city could connect mobile phone users with like-minded people, thanks to a new iPhone app called Highlight.

 

The app alerts users when they are physically near people with whom they share a connection, such as mutual friends, similar interests or the same hometown.

 

The app runs in the background on users’ devices. When it makes a connection, it sends each user the other’s profile, including information such as names, photos and mutual connections.

 

This could include the companies where they work or neighbourhoods where they live, if the information is provided on their Facebook profiles.

 

The app displays each user’s current location, within an accuracy of 35-50 metres. According to Highlight founder Paul Davison, the app makes meeting people less random and inefficient.

 

“We sit on the bus and stand in line next to each other. But you don’t know anything about anyone that you pass by. That doesn’t seem weird because it’s always been that way,” he says.

 

“But if you think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous.”

 

Highlight was particularly popular at SXSW this year, so why not take inspiration from Davison and develop your own social app?