There’s alot of talk here at SXSW about Highlight. It’s a spankin’ new location app that tells you who’s immediately around you. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. Highlight runs in the background and lets you know about the people around you. Crunchbase calls Highlight a mobile ambient awareness app. According to TechCrunch, Highlight could be the ultimate business card killer.
Foursquare it’s not. It won’t let you know that your ex college room mate is getting coffee in Des Moines. And best of all, no one’s the Mayor of anything. There’s no need to check in – it’s ambient. And you can go off the grid by ‘pausing’ Highlight at any time.
I’m not so much into personal disclosure but I think this is very interesting. At SXSW here people are using their blurbs to recruit help. Right now in the lobby of the Austin Hilton I’m sitting within a hundred yards of a PR specialist for Wolfram|Alpha, chief IT architect for Qualcomm, the SVP for about.com, an ambassador for the US State Department, the business development manager for NBC Universal, a social/community guy for Dell, and a senior consultant for Deloitte, and (hold on to your smart phone) Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab. I suppose if I really wanted to reach out to these folks I could find them pretty easily. I can also see that I have a common connection to a couple of them. There’s my icebreaker.
Implications for medicine? Perhaps. It might be helpful for teams of physicians functioning on large campuses. In the Texas Medical Center working between Texas Children’s Hospital (the largest children’s hospital in the U.S) and Baylor College of Medicine I can see how ambient geotracking could have utility. I suspect that more than any other social app released to date, Highlight could shatter the experience of the medical conference.
And perhaps this will mark the end of the sign in board in my waiting room.
Highlight is available worldwide through the App Store.