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New App to Let Users Walk in Someone Else's Virtual Steps

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What if you can see the virtual world through someone else's eyes? It may soon be possible.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have launched a new app designed to let people assume the virtual life of another for 20 days.

The app uses services such as Google Maps to give strangers a feeling that they are walking in the virtual steps of another person.

"We started by thinking, could we make some piece of software that allows you to be connected to strangers in a way that produced empathy instead of suspicion, contempt or disdain?" Kevin Slavin, director of MIT Media Lab's Playful Systems research group, was quoted as saying.

Called "20 Day Stranger", the iPhone app reveals intimate, shared connections between two anonymous individuals.

The app creates a virtual version of the world you move through and shows it to your match, media reports said.

It keeps the identities of both parties secret but reveals where they go and what they do.

For instance, if you are walking in Delhi, the app will tell your partner that you are walking and then will accompany it with Google Street View data.

At the end of the experiment, each person has one chance to send a message to the other - either to say goodbye, or to exchange contact information if they like, reports added.

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