Ambrose Bierce once quipped that the telephone “abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.” In a similar manner, social networks are a great way to keep in touch and have fun, but also have the drawback of allowing that special category of “non-friend friends” (ex-partners, irritating co-workers, stalkers etc) lurking in your network to spot when you’re close by and stop in for a chat.
The Cloak – Icognito mode for real life app recognises that this point and acts as a self-confessed “anti-social network” designed to help prevent any unplanned non-friend encounters. Cloak works by trawling through contacts in your Instagram and Fourquare accounts and then displaying nearby friends and undesirables on a street view map.
The appropriate evasive measures can then be taken by the user – be that hot-footing it up the nearest alley, seeking refuge in a coffee shop, or perhaps switching off all the lights in the house. The app’s developers are also currently working on incorporating location data from Facebook to help provide a fuller picture of those in the vicinity.
Cloak is available for free download on devices supporting iOS 7 onwards.