Users of digital services can often be tempted to forgo privacy and security for the sake of convenience — most even see it as a norm to share passwords for home wifi and services like Uber or iTunes. But this leaves users with a huge security risk if they never change their passwords. A new chat app called Wand, founded by ex-Googler Vishal Sharma, addresses this via ‘actionable messaging’ — talking to friends, whilst sharing controls of the user’s various accounts without revealing passwords.
The app has a regular chat interface, but users have the option to integrate over 35 services including Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, Spotify, Sonos speakers and Nest thermostats. If a user wants to share a playlist, but their friend uses a different service, they can access the playlist through Wand, and just ‘wand’ it — the recipient of the message will be able to listen to them through their own Wand app. They can also share video playlists (YouTube), restaurant recommendations (Yelp), and even give an out-of-town client an Uber ride on their account. Control over wifi networks, soundsystems and thermostats can also be shared without the need to reveal passwords or download additional apps. What’s more, the user can revoke the shared controls when the guest leaves, and activate it again when they return.
Wand is currently in invite-only Beta, and they promise to never sell or share users’ private information. Could this become the norm for peer-to-peer sharing?
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