Die With Me is the app that lets you chat with strangers as your phones die together

The world isn’t short of chat apps. Alongside WhatsApp and Messenger lie hundreds of other ways to communicate with friends, family and even strangers on the other side of the world, but Die With Me is something different.

Despite its name sounding very much like a place where a suicide pact would commence, Die With Me aims to connect you with strangers around the world who are all suffering from the same problem – a low phone battery. This common affliction allows you to bond with others on a level not seen before.

To join Die With Me you require nothing more than providing a user name and allowing the app to read your battery status. You may only join the chat room once your battery falls below 5%, think of it as a reward for holding back against the unstoppable urge to find a portable battery or plug socket.

Launched on iOS and Android on Wednesday, Die With Me comes from the mind of Dries Depoorter, a Belgium-based app developer. The idea behind Die With Me is to promote the letting go of digital connections within our lives, turning these sad moments into positive ones.

“We wanted to do something positive with a low battery,” Depoorter said to Motherboard via email. “Now we see people happy with a low battery, having low-battery conversations.”

Interestingly, the project changed from Depoorter’s initial idea. As it stands, the current version of Die With Me is a simple chat app, but originally it was intended to be a way to forge a romantic connection. Short of calling it a dating app, its idea was to use these fleeting moments to create a longing for someone else, almost like when you catch the eye of someone as the tube carriage rolls out of the station.

“We had ideas to make a dating app where you can find someone around you with a low battery,” he explained, “and when you meet, the battery [is dead], so you can have an offline, real conversation.”

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It’s probably for the best such an idea was canned. Lord knows what the safety implications of such a mechanic would be.

This isn’t the first iteration of Die With Me either, Depoorter and his development partner David Surprenant first launched their app in 2017 as a small test project through the International Documentary Film Festival DocLab live event using the festival audience as a test bed. Before that, they presented an idea for the app at the same festival in 2016.

Since then, multiple changes were made to how it would take shape and, most recently of all, they faced issued with approvals thanks to the furore around Apple throttling battery performance in old iPhones.

Now though, it’s live and ready for you to chat to others who are on the brink of being wiped from digital existence.

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