Chat and contact management app Knock Knock lets users interact with people nearby without having to verbally exchange contact information. The comic-book themed app is re-imagining communication through technology and wants to make social interaction less intimidating. The app will initially roll out at major American universities.
“New social encounters can be both awkward and intimidating,” Ankur Jain, Knock Knock co-founder, said.
“Thinking back to my first week of college, I remember wishing there was a way to keep track and remember all of the new people I met. We created Knock Knock as a fun solution that takes the pressure off when navigating these situations, utilizing technology that mirrors our real-life social habits.”
Knock Knock will roll out on campuses of top U.S colleges including Harvard, Cornell, Stanford and Berkeley. The app uses Beacon technology to help students gathering to connect and keep touch with the people they meet:
“[A] frat can then message that group with special invites for any upcoming parties or events and easily reach out to people for things like Rush,” Jain told TechCrunch.
Users can choose to unsubscribe from receiving these messages.
Knock Knock reduces the awkwardness prevalent in first-time encounters with people, its co-founder says:
“There’s the awkwardness of asking someone for their number when they don’t really want to give it to you, or forgetting someone’s name a mere 10 minutes after you’ve met,”
Users can share their social media information with the person they choose to have future interactions with. For a user to initiate contact, both recipient and sender must have the app on their smartphones.
The user taps twice on their phone to bring the app up, and then Beacon technology finds people in close proximity that have the app installed on their phones. The user then taps on the person they want to interact with and waits for the other person to reciprocate by tapping on their phone, too. The user selects what information they will share and once they do, the two users are connected through the social channels chosen.
Users also have the option to reject a connect request and simply use the app to chat. The app takes notes of when and where the two individuals met.
The app, which mimics people’s behavior during social interactions, doesn’t oblige users to keep in touch unless they want to:
“The easiest way to think about it is this. In a real-life situation, say you’re at a conference; if you wave at someone, and they wave back, it’s an invitation to talk and chat,” he says. “At the end of that, you can leave and there’s no commitment. Or you can choose how you want to stay in touch if you want to take it further.”
Engadget reports that the app is low-commitment because the user doesn’t have to immediately respond to a knock. They can choose to reciprocate (or not) a knock later in the day.
Asked about battery usage, Jain told TechCrunch that Bluetooth is only activated when the user launches the app or when another user starts knocking. TechTimes says this could be annoying for users and could quickly drain one’s phone battery.