Unless you've been living in complete unawareness, you'll know that apps that help you find people based on your real-time location are all the rage at SXSW Interactive this year. Glancee, one of the more popular choices, is an app that's been around for far longer than some others, and absolutely deserves credit for it. But is this the location-based app you want in your arsenal? We met with Andrea Vaccari, CEO of Glancee, to get a sense of the app's value proposition and get a demonstration of some of its more salient features.
But first, here's a rundown on how Glancee works: The app integrates with your Facebook account and pre-populates several details within its profile, like your bio and interests. Then, after the fact, you can go in and tweak these details about yourself so you can get a more accurate match with the people around you. For instance, something you liked on Facebook years ago might not be one of your passionate interests anymore.
On the tab called Radar, the app displays a list of your best matches, sorted by distance. It doesn't show you the exact location of the people around you, just an approximation. The next tab, Diary, shows you a list of the "most interesting" people you've come across throughout your day. Glancee dives into Wikipedia's deep database to establish associations among the interests between two people, even if they aren't exact matches. For example, someone who likes "The Economist" could conceivably get along with someone who likes "The Paris Review" since these are similar publications, despite not being exactly the same. The idea is that these similar interests can become possible topics for conversation, helping you reach out to a stranger. Once you've selected the profile of a person you're interested in connecting with, you can immediately start chatting within the app.
We asked Andrea Vaccari, founder and CEO of Glancee, about the inspiration behind creating the app and how he envisions the direction of the project going forward.