It’s 2015 and the future is officially here with Pplkpr, a mobile app that uses biometric data collected from you to gauge and analyze the effect that certain people have on your life.
Let the app send messages, invite people to hang out, and block and delete the “friends” you have who stress you out the most.
Pronounced “People-Keeper,” the iOS app uses a heart rate monitor and take note of the emotional responses you exhibit around certain people, tracking your emotional state with every subtle variation in your heart rhythm. It currently only works with the MiO brand of heart rate monitors, but works with any blue-tooth enabled heart monitors. It also uses a GPS to collect data.
If you don’t use a heart rate monitor, you can manually input your emotional state from a rota of feelings ranging from “excited” to “stressed out” immediately after your social encounter. Based on the data of your relationships and the biometric indicators, Pplkpr suggests and makes appointments with your “best” friends, suggests who to block and delete from your lists, and more. If you prompt it, the app will act on your behalf and do so for you, automatically.
Sounds scary right?
Developers Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald deny any kind of dystopic vision for their project. They said it was based on “exploring the implications of quantified living on relationships.” Their main question was primarily:
“Who owns the data created between two people, what if it is captured and used? What if algorithms could understand our relationships and make better interpersonal decisions that we can ourselves?”
The project spanned one year and was tested out on students at Carnegie Mellon University, where it monitored and weeded out their toxic social relationships.
Irregardless of their intentions, Pplkpr carries some significant questions about how mobile data can affect our lives so profoundly to the point where we might one day trust the calculations of a computer program more so than our own, human intuition.
I’ll stick with Symafour, thanks.