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Octi [OK-tee], a new social networking app, lets users interact with each other using augmented reality (AR).
Launched last January, Octi employs facial recognition technology in addition to AR. To activate Octi, users need to run the app and point their phone’s camera at another person. Octi users can add each other as friends or send invitations to non-Octi users.
Once Octi recognizes a user, the app creates a digital belt of content, including photos, videos, and music playlists, using AR. AR integrates virtual content into a live camera feed. As a result, the content appears to be part of the physical environment.
According to Justine Fuisz [fweez], Octi’s CEO, the app was developed so people can spend time together and use their phones to connect, communicate, and express themselves. Octi is unlike other AR-heavy apps, such as Snapchat, because it encourages interaction in the flesh. Features like stickers and filters are only available if users are physically together.
A cybersecurity expert expressed concern that Octi’s technology could be used for scams if it fell into the wrong hands. The app also raises privacy concerns since strangers’ names could pop up if users point the camera at them. In response, Octi said that users can use any username and profile photo of their choice.
Currently, the app has already raised funds, which amount to $12 million, from some high-profile investors. Fuisz said that in the future, Octi can collaborate with payment companies, dating apps, and other social platforms. Octi also hopes to partner with third-party app developers who can create content for the app to increase the number of its users.