Plenty of energy has been expended talking up mobile and "check-in" applications from Facebook, Foursquare, and others that help people connect more easily with their social or cyber networks of partners, customers, and prospects when they happen to cross paths in real life.
But what about the chance meetings you'd love to avoid or be warned about, especially at places like tradeshows or industry conferences where ex-bosses or competitors might be lurking?
Even though many "where am I now" apps have come and gone over the past several years, startup Split is offering a unique view on the idea of apps that let you know when someone's around.
The company, which just received $1 million in funding from angel investors, has created mobile apps for both Apple iOS and Android that help minimize "awkward encounters." Sure, it's technically a consumer-facing tool, but there's no reason it isn't applicable in a business setting.
The technology actually works in conjunction with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare, using the contact and social information that's already available. You select the people you'd like to dodge. The app scans your surroundings and warns you if you're about to encounter one of them.
The app itself is free, but a feature called "Who With" that lets you see who else is with your "avoidees" costs 99 cents.
I have to admit, this sounds a bit creepy. I don't personally like the idea of someone explicitly and consciously watching my whereabouts. But think about it this way, it flips the idea of social networks upside down to help you remain private when you want.