Anyone that has ever wanted to know more about the lives of others is in the luck as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] has developed an app that pairs strangers together for a period of a little under three weeks.
20 Day Stranger, which has been engineered by MIT’s Media Lab, works by pairing up two complete strangers and then sharing random information to each person for a period of 20 days, and the best part is you’ll never have to know the identity of the person on the other end.
"For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together. You'll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your imagination of their life... and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere," states the 20 Day Stranger’s website.
The idea is to pair up strangers that are as far away across the globe as possible and utilise each device’s location data and accelerometer in order to collect exact pieces of information. This can include whether the person is driving, biking, walking or sitting in a coffee shop and is even able to tell when you have woken up in the morning by the shaking of your phone.
One example given by FastCo Design is the app telling you that your partner is walking in Paris before providing a Google Maps Street View image within a half-mile radius of the location or grabbing a picture from Instagram.
Data is presented in the form of a news feed that, although being highly specific to the places being shown is vague when it comes to the identity of the person on the other end.
“We’re not trying to tell a story with 100% accuracy,” said Kevin Slavin, Playful Systems director. “What we’re trying to do is lift out a story with enough texture and detail to provoke you to imagine a real life somewhere else, happening right now, tied to yours.”
20 Day Stranger is currently in the beta testing stage within MIT and those interested in becoming one of the first to use the app can sign up now on the app’s website.