Facebook PixelA phone feature that lets nearby strangers know what you enjoy talking about
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A phone feature that lets nearby strangers know what you enjoy talking about

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 30, 2021
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A Bluetooth-like feature on the phone that indicates the topic(s) of interest you would be open to talking about with strangers around you.
Turning the feature on makes your topics of interest discoverable to people around you. It signals that you are open to casual conversations on the topic.
  • We are social beings yet many find it difficult to talk to new people.
  • For many, "leave me alone" is the default body language even though they wouldn't really mind connecting with new people.
  • In public settings, people tend to escape into their phones, thereby making themselves unavailable to the real world around them.
How it works
A new on/off feature in the phone's quick settings menu. You can add up to 140 characters worth of description.
When the toggle button is enabled, your description is discoverable (similarly to how bluetooth works) to people within reach.
People can use their phones to scan the place and see if anyone is up for a chat. They would see something like:
  • <first name> likes to talk about: <whatever was configured>.
  • I like to talk about <whatever>.
  • Talk to me about <whatever>.
Creative contributions

It could also list similarities

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Nov 04, 2021
You could also create a more extensive biography of what you like, listing your favourite movies, music, activities, sports teams, etc.
You would then also be able to scan for nearby users and the app would list things you have in common with them. These could then also be great conversation starters.
I think people who might ordinarily be shy of meeting and talking to strangers might be more willing if they already know they have common interests, that they will understand certain references and that have had some of the same experiences.
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Let others around you know what online content you enjoy at the moment

Povilas S
Povilas S Feb 08, 2022
In addition to what Spook Louw wrote in his contribution, I think a good idea is to let others around you see when you truly enjoy some piece of content (a song, a youtube video, an image, a meme, etc.). It should be discoverable online for others to find and check out. This might require a bit more sophisticated software, a specialized app, etc. It would be like sharing something you like on social media, just instead real people around you would be able to see it, people, that you don't yet know.
So say you sit in a cafe and listen to music on Spotify, you discover a new song that you really enjoy (or just enjoying an old song, doesn't matter), you press a "share with others around you" button and anyone willing can see on their phone that <Name> is enjoying <this> song right now, they can then press on a song icon or a link and open it on their app. The same goes for videos that you watch, articles that you read, memes that you discover, etc. If you happen to like the content that someone else is enjoying, it's easy to reach out to them and start a conversation.
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Locating the person you want to talk to

Povilas S
Povilas S Feb 08, 2022
In the idea description, there is no explanation on how you'd find the person you're willing to talk to amongst others. In close vicinity, GPS will not help with this. The best would perhaps be to start texting the person and then once they got your message and know someone <Name> wants to talk, you can look around and wave to each other, etc.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
It would work similarly to bluetooth. Your phone is discoverable to other phones within reach and transmits your info upon being scanned
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Darko Savic Yes, I understand. I was talking about recognizing the person you choose to talk to amongst others in the close vicinity near you (in physical space). As I understand, you'd be able to discover many people around you who indicated that they are willing to talk (you'd see their names and topics they'd like to talk about on your phone).
So let's say you found a person with an interesting topic for you to talk about indicated near their name. How would you recognize that person amongst others in physical space (given there are many or a few people around)?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Povilas S maybe a selfie could be included in the profile
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