“As an entrepreneur, you have a vision and hope that things come together so you can pursue it,” Shah said. “e wanted Refresh to feel like a diplomatic attaché whispering in your ear. Glass can help us realize our vision because the tech gets out of the way.”
Refresh pulls data from a wide range of sources popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook along with LinkedIn, Foursquare, Github, AngelList, Yahoo and Zillow, a real estate site.
Since Refresh connects with the user’s calendar, the app can pull up information on the person you’re meeting with automatically based on a future appointment.
The inspiration for the application came when Shah was working with Tommy Thompson, secretary of Health and Human Services, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Shah said he witnessed the power of the briefings given to Thompson and how they allowed him to connect with people more easily.
By leveraging technology like Glass, Refresh hopes to make this kind of information available to a much wider range of people. However, Shah recognizes that currently there is a degree of stigma surrounding Google Glass and that the userbase is somewhat limited.
“I like the analogy of Glass being like [the Sony] Walkman back in the early ’80s,” Shah said. “It was a weird awkward thing to be wearing out a Walkman in public, and then it became completely normal.”
With the user’s permission, Refresh “may access other personal information on your device, such as your contacts list and details, calendar or messages, in order to provide services to you.”
They may also access information from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter with the user’s permission.
The company may also associate the personal information they collect from you “with your activities in the course of providing the Products and Services to you.” The information they collect may also be made available to other users of the app.
“The information Refresh collects is used to help us identify who you are, and who you come into contact with to provide you with information about your contacts. It is only used for our business purposes,” the policy states.
The company states that they may collect information on you from outside sources and add it to or combine it with your account information.
Others are trying to create similar applications as well. People+ aims to use Glass to present information on the person you’re talking to, just as Refresh does.
However, People+ uses data culled from community-edited sources somewhat like Wikipedia in addition to web sources.
People+ aims to provide users with the basic information “without you having to type anything,” founder and CEO Peter Berger said to VentureBeat last year.
In today’s world, it seems one can expect no privacy whatsoever. Do you think applications like this are a positive thing or are they an affront to your right to privacy? Let us know in the comments or by leaving us a message on our Facebook page or via Twitter.
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