If you’ve ever been at a ballgame and wandered away to get a beer only to return to your seats to hear your friends greet you with, “OMG! Did you SEE that?” you may finally have an app for that. Color, an app from a Silicon Valley start-up of the same name, allows users to take pictures and videos at an event and share images with those within geographical proximity without having to pass around their iPhone, or even email or upload the videos or photos to something like Flickr. Color uses an algorithm that detects which smartphones using the app are within a 150-foot radius, and that radius extends when Color senses clusters of people and phones are somewhere such as a baseball game. You don’t have to login or otherwise sign up for Color. You just download it and use it. Users can then see all photos taken nearby, as well as photos recently taken recently nearby your friends, as recognized by Color.
Not only does Color share images from events automatically with other nearby users of the app, but Color allows users of the Color app at events to see every single photo on other smartphones loaded with the Color app at these events if you are near these users often (who are called your “elastic network”). Creepy? Depends how comfortable you are with someone across the stadium browsing your drunken shenanigans from that birthday party you attended last weekend. Or seeing photos of your kids. Or perhaps any other questionable photos that should otherwise not ever be seen by anyone, let alone prying/stalking eyes.
Despite the creepy nature of Color, Silicon Valley venture firms actually liked the concept of Color – so much it attracted $41 million in funding for its app from Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.
“No other app connects people like Color does,” Sequoia Capital partner Douglas Leone says. He says it’s “an instant social network” that captures “experiences with those around you.” The co-founder and CEO of Color, Bill Nguyen said its “basic human nature” to see photos from others and thinks it could be an interesting way to meet others.
Although bumping into someone in line for beer at the next baseball game and noting how great they looked in their pictures from their last birthday party would be a great attempt at a pick-up, I’ll skip the creeper approach.
Isn’t that what Facebook after the first date is for, anyway?