Sonar is one of the hottest people discovery apps on the iOS platform. They were a runner up at TechCrunch Disrupt NY last May. I had the chance to meet CEO Brett Martin at TechCrunch Disrupt NY that’s where I found out that Martin grew up in Ocean City, Maryland, a town I had lived in for many years immediately out of high school. We had joked that when they made the move to Android he owed me an interview, after seeing Sarah Perez’ story about Sonar on Monday, it was time to call in that interview.
When Martin explained Sonar on the Disrupt battlefield he showed that Sonar showed people results based on place. For instance, using Sonar at Disrupt he found that there was a friend of a friend present, there was someone who went to the same college as him, and someone who and another who specialized in startups. All those results were relevant to Martin. From there, knowing just a kernel of information about someone else, helps break the ice.
More after the break
Sonar will be launching on the Android platform shortly. In fact we have a bunch of beta invites for Sonar for Android. The Android version moves away from the place model and displays people based on proximity and relevance. They will start delivering results based on “people nearby” and also according to “places” as it is now.
Martin explained in an interview Tuesday with Thedroidguy that Sonar sets itself apart from the other discovery apps by drawing data from FourSquare, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. While a discovery app based on LinkedIn may be great for business, the added bonus of knowing this person with like business interests, credentials or occupation, is also friends on Facebook with three college buddies, or comes from your hometown may help break the ice. In fact that’s what broke the ice between me and Martin back at Disrupt.
Martin is proud of the back end technology in Sonar, that’s the other thing that puts them ahead of the curve. Martin and the Sonar team (which numbers 7 now), will be at South By Southwest this weekend. They’ve partnered with various events throughout SXSW. The event hosts are letting Sonar tap into their registration list and offer up lists of “must meet” people at each event, before the event even starts.
While Martin wouldn’t freely dive into the technology we were able to find out that just because Scobleizer has 245,000 followers, or I have 100,000 followers doesn’t mean that we will necessarily be the “must meet” people, the technology dives a lot deeper than that. Martin feels like they have the best ranking technology out there in the way of discovery apps.
Sonar is looking for people to try out their discovery ranking technology on Android devices and provide feedback, if you fit the bill, we highly recommend you participate in the beta. You can download a beta copy here http://bit.ly/