Imagine a smartphone app that encourages heavy drinking. The more you drink, the more games and activities the app offers. You can drunk dial strangers who also have the app. You can see where other drunk people are near you, and even how drunk they are. Just plug in your handy breathalyzer into a smartphone, breath on it and join the fun! Two actors playing techies by the names of Avery Platz and Kyle Addison designed and promoted just such an app, which was picked up by several news outlets.
Yesterday, the developers of an app called LIVR began cold-calling tech writers. The pitch was fun! A social network you can only access when you’re drunk, thanks to a breathalyzer accessory. If it seems like the platonic ideal of SXSW catnip, that’s because it was engineered to be exactly that. LIVR is a hoax. We were first contacted by LIVR yesterday morning in the form of a press release sent to our tipbox. Heaven forbid you ever be exposed to press releases in your lifetime, but suffice it to say LIVR’s was convincing, full of the nextify 2.0 jargon that makes everyone hate Silicon Valley.