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Navigating the Real World: There's An App For That

You’re walking down the street and you’re so busy texting and checking e-mail and posting on Facebook that you don’t notice that you nearly bumped into a lamp post. Be honest. That’s happened to you, hasn’t it? Don’t you wish there was an app that would make sure you didn’t bump into lamp posts or fall in any potholes while you are glued to your smartphone?

Ignorify is the perfect app to do just that. The only problem? It doesn’t exist–except as a satire.

“My new app is something that solves an age-old problem and an annoyance for all of us in the tech industry,” says the unidentified entrepreneur in the pitch video. The problem he is describing?  “The real world.”

Check out the video here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4U0dG9NKWA[/youtube]

Although I’m not yet a bonafide social media addict (my husband might disagree), I occasionally forget to look up at the sky and appreciate my surroundings when I’m clutching my smartphone. As the entrepreneur explains, “We’ve all got emails to email, texts to text, tweets to tweets and birds to slingshot, that there’s no real reason to be bothered by our actual surroundings any longer, you know. There’s really no reason to look up from our phones ever again. Frankly, looking away from your phone is kind of for old people.”

How to cope with the real world? Turn to Ignorify, the app “that allows you to navigate the real world while navigating the digital world,” according to the video — which is really a send-up of both start-up pitch videos and the social media culture which sucks so many of us in.

Sree Sreenivasan was one of the first to blog about the video, which was created for the 4th Annual Shorty Awards.

As Sreenivasan points out, while Ignorify isn’t for real, there are some apps which can help guide you through the “real world” while you’re busy staring at your phone. “These apps use the cameras in iPhones and Android phones to display what’s in front so you can type via a transparent screen. Examples, all with similar-sounding names, include Type-n-viewType-n-Walk, and Walk and Text.”

“For today’s busy phone user, no one has time to look up,” says the guy in the Ignorify video, who says that if Ignorify senses a taxi cab or a fire engine, the app sends an alert about oncoming danger. And if it fails, the app has a feature which has a built-in accelerometer which sends an ambulance to you. Ignorify can even take over your social networking while you’re at the hospital. “The real world is for losers,” says the entrepreneur. “Ignore it safely.”

It’s supposed to be a joke and it’s funny, but it also touches a nerve. Perhaps we would all be a lot happier if we occasionally put down our phones and interacted with the world around us. What do you think? Would you buy Ignorify if it was a real app?

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