By: Sari Feingold
Twitter unites us with our celebrity idols, Facebook connects us with friends across the world, mobile Internet answers all of our pressing daily questions, and Pinterest shares our materialistic muses with strangers. Just when we thought no social media site or mobile app could possibly be missing from our lives, U of I’s Cory Levy started developing The One, an app that, “lets you know when there are people right next to you who share your interests,” says the former computer science student.
An interview excerpt from Regina Sinsky’s article on VentureBeat best captures the premise of this promising app: “How do we meet the important people in our lives?” asks Levy. “It’s all about situations. I like tennis, and [I] met my best friend because he was carrying a racket. We started talking because of that racket. What if he hadn’t been carrying it that day? We want to prevent people from walking past each other and missing a chance to know each other.”
The concept of avoiding missed connections is simultaneously profound and eerie. While The One might lessen the excitement of a coincidental finding that you and the girl sitting beside you on the 22N bus enjoy the same obscure music, the revolutionary app certainly has the potential to foster more meaningful social interaction between strangers. It may just be that The One is the kick-in-the-butt we need to look up from our text message conversations and start talking to the future-husband or best-friend-to-be standing beside us at the bus stop.
The app has already made its debut at UC Berkeley, but it is coming close to home soon. Levy will be launching The One at the University of Texas and the University of Illinois in the near future. So, start thinking about what you’d like to include on your profile, because once you get your first notification, there may be no turning back.
For more information on Cory Levy, on his insights behind running a company as a teen, and on his year of experience at the University of Illinois, refer to the following links: