New App Lets You “Avoid Humans”

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HOUSTON, Texas-- Christmas is over now. You've fought the crowds at Uptown Lighting, and waded through the throngs at the Galleria. You've even put up with friends and family who felt the need to visit. Now it's time for a little peace and quiet. Have we got an App for you?!

An ad agency out of Austin, GSD&M, has heard your silent cries and created "Avoid Humans." It takes in your current location and offers a list of nearby, cool places to hang out where crowds are nowhere to be seen. The hotspots are broken down into four categories: restaurants, bars, coffee shops and "refuge." Once the list comes up, the App tells you how busy those spots are: green means go, yellow could be iffy and red means run!

"It uses the Foursquare API data of check-ins," explains GSD&M's creative director Scott Brewer, "and then literally just cross references that with a list of suggested places that we have. And if any of those suggested places are turning up as non-crowded in our rating system, then they come up as a suggested alternate."

GSD&M came up with the App earlier this year to offer South by Southwest festival folks a tool to fight the ever-growing crowds in Austin. "We didn't even think about the fact that Foursquare data works anywhere and that API pulls local results," says Brewer, "and so we got notes from San Francisco, we got notes from New York, Brooklyn. People saying, 'It's working over here. This is awesome!'"

You can try it out at on your web browser through your phone or computer.

To read more about it, check out this month's issue of Houstonia.