Need Tips While You’re on a Date? New App Lets the Internet Listen In and Offer Advice
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say when you’re in the thick of a blind date or an argument with your boss. Now a new experimental app called Crowdpilot can help guide your conversations by enlisting advice from your Facebook friends, strangers or 99-cent assistants.
The free iOS app, launched Wednesday, allows people to listen in on your conversations using your iPhone’s microphone and write in suggestions for actions, words or conversation topics in (semi-delayed) real time. It’s either a wildly helpful tool, a novel game or a serious invasion of privacy, depending on how you look at it.
In collaboration with the nonprofit arts-and-tech organization Rhizome, Crowdpilot was created in a collaboration between Perceptor and the artist Lauren McCarthy, who sought to both criticize the augmented-reality and social-networking apps that have become dominant, while also exploring the “networked humanity” and “collective wisdom” those apps enable. For the launch, McCarthy set up a bunch of people on blind dates to try the app out and let the world watch via a live stream. Artists Molly Crabapple and Vince McKelvie were two of the guinea pigs. I listened in a bit and was intrigued to hear the same nervous pauses and awkward interruptions I’ve become so familiar with on my own dates.
I thought I’d give it a spin myself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to use it, and what it’s like:
1. Download the app here.
2. Open it.
3. Create a login and allow it to access your Facebook contacts and enable push notifications. Then tap Start a session.
4. You’ll be presented with a list of options of whom you can consult for advice.