Can Apps Remove the Element of Chance from Life?

A new mobile service uses location data, i.e. where you are, to create a social network with like-minded people in your immediate vicinity. Would you be willing to meet a stranger this way?

What's the Latest Development?

A new location-based mobile service has been unveiled at this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, where technophiles meet annually to discuss the future of information technology. The new service is called Highlight and when users register their location, much like Foursquare, Highlight creates an impromptu social network with like-minded individuals, determined by mining users' Facebook data, in the same 100 meters radius. Next time you take the bus, you may be sitting next to your best-friend-to-be, goes the fairy tale. 

What's the Big Idea?

Highlight's founder, Paul Davison, sees the randomness and chance of everyday life as an obstacle to be overcome. Rather than waiting for your next business partner or lover to arrive, he figures you can go out and find them, or at least stumble upon them with a little more direction. 'Nothing affects our happiness more than the people in our lives,' he says. 'But the way we find these people and bring them into our lives always has been completely random and inefficient.' Do you think serendipity is too inefficient for our modern lives? 

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