Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
There’s no shortage of third-party address book apps for the iPhone, but that isn’t stopping Atmospheir from throwing its hat into the crowded ring as it looks to re-imagine what your address book should look like as we edge closer to 2014.
So what should a modern-day address book look like? Well, it’s more than just telephone numbers and email addresses. And it’s certainly not about postal addresses.
With Atmospheir, you set yourself a unique ID – this could be a random concoction of letters or firstname-lastname – and then this serves as a gateway to all your contact credentials. Connections can only be made using this unique ID – if someone doesn’t know it, they can’t do manual searches for you based on any other criteria.
But it’s more than that. You choose which profile(s) each of your connections can see from a myriad of social accounts. So you can essentially segment your personal and professional data, allowing some folk access to your Instagram and Facebook credentials, while LinkedIn may be dished out to professional contacts.
From the main screen you can expand a little dial that gives you access to your personal profile, notifications and invites – hit the little cross icon to type in an Atmospheir ID and invite them to connect. Interestingly, there’s also a baked-in ‘nearby’ feature, which lets you share your contact details over Bluetooth with those you just met, but they must also have Atmospheir Nearby switched on, and be within 50 meters of you.
Armed with your unique ID, you can swap sets of contact details and social network usernames, gradually building your network up over time. Atmospheir essentially evolves with you, with each of your contacts always having up-to-date information from the networks you’ve chosen to share with them.
There’s also an ‘Introductions’ feature that lets you request intros to others through your own contacts. While ‘Nudge’ lets you send your contacts a short message of up to 70 characters.
In terms of real-life use-cases, I guess the idea is that when you meet someone – friends, business colleagues, relatives or whoever – you divulge your Atmospheir ID. This then gives them access to the precise range of personal contact information you wish them to get. You might not want a client to get access to your Facebook, SoundCloud or Pinterest profiles, but you’re happy for them to get LinkedIn, Behance or GitHub.
For all the good ideas and execution in here, it does of course all depend on one thing: There needs to be a critical mass of Atmospheir users for this to be even remotely usable. As things stand, if you turn up at an event and say to a potential client: “yeah, my Atmospheir ID is SurferBoy45, get in touch”, don’t be surprised if you never hear from them again. And it’s probably only partly to do with the questionable pseudonym-choice…
Of course, this is a challenge facing any similar service, such as Addappt – it’s only as useful as the number of people in your social and business circles that are using it. But anything that tries to bring order to the contact-chaos has to be a good thing. Only time will tell if enough people start using it.
Atmospheir is available to download now from the App Store. Meanwhile, check out the official promo video below.
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