Bing Fund backs mobile app Sonar to help people discover who is hanging out nearby

Do you want to know who is hanging around you at the coffee shop, airport or bar?

A new mobile app called Sonar, which today is announcing funding from Microsoft’s Bing Fund, taps into individual’s social networks to identify who is lurking nearby. Of course, Sonar probably wouldn’t like the term “lurking,” given the privacy implications and the creepy factor associated with these types of apps.

“Other Sonar users within meters of you who you are connected to directly or through common friends and interests may be able to see your profile in the People tab of their Sonar app, or receive push notifications when you’re nearby,” the company explains.

Sonar integrates with Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, allowing users to find connections without the bother of “checking in.”

As I mentioned, there can be a creepy factor at play here, though Sonar says that it makes it easy for users to “pause” the service, meaning one’s location is not shared.

Other startups are attempting to attack this market in interesting ways. Earlier this month, we wrote about Anomo — a Seattle startup that surfaces these connections with individual profiles represented as avatars. (PreviouslyStartup tries new approach to dating: Let your avatars get to know each other first).

This marks the Bing Fund’s fifth investment since it was started last year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmacduff Jeff MacDuff

    Congrats to the Sonar team and the BF!