Over the past year several developers showed off apps that combine gelocation information from your Android device with information from your social network to bring you insightful information about the people around you wherever you may be. One of these, Sonar, is now available in the Google Play store. Similar in concept to 'Hightlight', an app available for the iPhone...in a nutshell 'Sonar' lets you know who of your social networking friends are nearby as well as tries to inform you when others that you might not know but have in common are also close enough for you to meet...thus expanding your possible social network. I stumbled across this video below which has Sonary co-founder Brett Martin talking a bit about the app and a bit about the genesis of the project as well.
✓ Connect your social networks to find friends nearby
✓ Integrates Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare
✓ Find out what you have in common with interesting people nearby
✓ Set your status, share what you’re up to
✓ New status sends a ping--like a local tweet--to friends nearby
✓ Chat with other Sonar users
✓ Background sharing - no need to check in
✓ You’re in control - pause anytime!
Now currently Sonar requires you to register when you install the app into your Facebook or Foursquare account. It then uses your social network from these services to let you know who is nearby. So if you're at a Starbucks and one of your friends is at the restaurant next door Sonar will let you know and also enable you to start a chat with them if they're using the Sonar app. Sonar also compares your contacts and 'likes' with others wherever you're using your device and let's you know if you might have something in common with a person close by using this data. So say Sonar let you know that cute girl across the way happens to also like 'Stone Temple Pilots', well this would be a perfect ice breaker to start a chat through Sonar or in-person conversation if you so desired. Now at this time 'Sonar' doesn't support Linked-in or Google and we certainly hope these get incorporated soon since we know a lot of Nexus 7 owners would love to have their G networks especially available on the service.
I'm intrigued personally about the potential for these kinds of gelocation/social media apps and wonder how pervasive...and accepted they will become. It'll be curious to see if people warm up to the idea of others knowing where they are...and what they like...as they go about their day to day activities. What do you think? Do you see yourself using 'Sonar' and would you want to know when your friends and even friends of friends are close by? Would you approach a stranger that the Sonar app tells you has something in common with you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and in the meantime give Sonar a try at the link below in the Google Play store. It's free and as you'd expect requires a wifi connection or tethered cell connection to work.