Discovery apps were hot at South By Southwest Interactive last week in Austin Texas. We all heard way too much about Highlight, especially considering it’s not even on Android yet. Glancee, which is on iOS and Android was the second biggest performer at SXSW according to Mashable.com.
Our favorite discovery app overall was/is definitely Trover, for when it comes to discovering local art, food, sculptures and places to go, but what about the all powerful people discovery?
Glancee is good but we discovered another one called Echo Echo. There are plenty of apps out there that can find your friends and new friends close by. There are plenty of apps out there that serve up basic, publicly available information about them as well. Most of these apps use GPS technology.
Echo Echo uses GPS technology to plot your friends on a map but it also uses wifi technology called WifiSlam. With this WifiSlam integration you can find your friends close by but it can also plot them on maps within a certain building.
I can’t tell you how many of my friends on Glancee were “Close by” do you know what “close by” can mean when you’re in the lobby of the Hilton hotel during SXSW? They could be at any of 100 events within a 1/4 mile of me or anywhere in the behometh convention center.
That’s the exact problem that Echo Echo can solve within college campuses, airports or even packed conventions. Of course there is a margin of error in both GPS and WiFi but it gives you a much closer range than the basic discovery apps only offering up a proximity of GPS coordinates.
Echo Echo also has better privacy controls than other similar apps. You can set Echo Echo to the degree at which you want to interact. Do I want every person who says they like Android on their Facebook page to be able to find me, in some cases sure that would be great but what if I was in a hotel for something like a wedding, I wouldn’t’ want thedroidguy fans to interrupt me if I didn’t know exactly who they were or they were attending the same event as me.
Echo Echo solves the friend problem for users. While apps like Glancee are great for meeting new people, Echo Echo helps you find your real friends. Now of course I usually know when my close personal friends will be near me but I have met a lot of great people traveling to events and would love to be able to reconnect quickly.
I typically wear my signature Android Beanie everywhere I go when I’m “working” So it’s easy for people to find me but I don’t have the same luxury. For instance at SXSW I bumped into Ina Fried. We are definitely convention friends but not call up every day for coffee friends, she was able to easily spot me because of the hat. However I found out hours later that my good friend Noni was at the same party and I totally missed her. With Echo Echo I could have known both were around without having to sift through a bunch of other people, which is hard enough at something like south by southwest.
Echo Echo has even tackled the battery drain issue, having their app use GPS and Wifi in different ways than apps in the same category.
Ready to check it out? Here’s a link to Echo Echo in the Google Play Store