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App Lets You Share Your Life With Someone You'll Never Meet

A new app under development at MIT lets you and another person share everything — but the catch is that person is a total stranger worlds away.
MIT Media Lab

An artsy new app under development at the MIT Media Lab has you and another person sharing daily activities like waking up, walking around and getting something to eat. But the catch is the other person is a stranger, living halfway across the globe.

That's right: When you and this random person check the app (called 20 Day Stranger), you see what the other person is up to, though you're not told their name, where they are, or for that matter, what they're doing specifically.

MIT Media Lab

The app uses GPS data to find where you are, and will also hook into social apps like Foursquare and Instagram. But it only shows the other person a general idea of these things; check into your favorite cafe in the morning and your stranger will see "Coffee" overlaid on an image of some nearby coffee shop, perhaps taken from Google Street View. Hop in the car to drive down to the beach in L.A. and the app will say "Driving," perhaps with a view of the Malibu boardwalk.

It's made to provoke wonder, curiosity and perhaps empathy between strangers. "What's he doing up so early?" "I wonder what she's getting a tattoo of?" "Checking in at the hospital? I hope everyone's OK!"

At the end of 20 days, you'll be able to send a single short message, but after that it's all done. And for the privacy-conscious, don't worry — the app doesn't keep any of the information and doesn't show you ads based on your location or anything.

The iPhone app isn't out quite yet — first, they need to get enough people to make the whole thing worthwhile. If it sounds interesting to you, you can sign up to take part as soon as things get underway.