“I really want to create a tool that gives you an immediate sense of community,” said Quinn Dellinger. “I feel that sense of connection has been lost even though we have this really powerful technology.”
22-year-old Naperville resident Quinn Dellinger created a new app, Vicinity, to help bring people together.
“The Eureka moment was [when] I was in an airport waiting for a flight and I saw all these people around me on their phones,” said Dellinger. “I saw these people on their smartphones and I was like ‘what if there’s a way where I could actually just communicate with all these people?”
Dellinger said he feels like people feeling lonely has been an issue, but the pandemic has “exasperated” it.
“[Social media] seems to connect us but not in the right ways. So people feel isolated and a little bit more lonely. It can lead to more anxiety and depression,” said Dellinger. “So I wanted to try and create something that’ll give you a sense of community kind of where you are and plug in to the people around you which I thought could be cool.”
The Vicinity app is a social tool with live chatrooms. Users create a profile and set the radius for messages they want to send and receive in a nearby chatroom. Users can use public and private chatrooms, send public and private messages, and create public or private groups for a specific purpose and location.
One aspect Dellinger thought about was security. The first message you send or receive from someone comes up as a message request which you can approve or decline. Users can block others and your exact location is never revealed.
“You just know the people you’re receiving messages from are within a certain radius but you have no idea where they are and they don’t know where you are,” said Dellinger.
Dellinger just launched the free app and will continue making improvements to help create those connections.
The Vicinity app can be downloaded through the App Store and Google Play.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
photo courtesy: Quinn Dellinger