For too long, social networks have distracted us from our environment. A new app, Krumb, aims to change all that.

In cities, humans have usually marked their presence by writing their names on a nearby wall, tree, or – less romantic – bus stop. Now, there’s an alternative; and one that doesn’t involve a marker pen, knife, or (as is the fashion of the moment) a padlock stuck to a bridge.

Step forward Krumb, a new smartphone app from Belgium. The app’s goal: to get users in touch with their immediate environment.

Strictly local, but already an institution

When you open Krumb for the first time, the app prompts you to create a profile, followed by so-called ‘krumbs’ – pictures, texts, and drawings that relate directly, and only, to the local area. Think a museum where you’ve seen a particularly exciting exhibit or a restaurant that serves great pasta (and don’t we all need one of those?). Once you are done, you digitally drop this ‘krumb’ for others to discover when they enter the location.

It’s not just people that are getting on board, though. Institutions like the Brussels Metro, which displays art on its platforms, or Ghent’s Museum of Contemporary Art are also getting involved and use Krumb to tell people about the artworks on display.

App Krumb display square
The Krumb app helps users to get in touch with their immediate environment.

Krumb lifts our gaze from the phone screen

Ultimately, this app is about using our phones to actually take notice of the world around us and, for once, lift our gaze from the hypnotic screens all of us carry around. Or, in the words of Krumb itself:

“Krumb is for everyone who wants to share and save experiences in that one particular place: photos of your friends in the café where they threw a party last week. An image of a historical building that once stood here, but in the meantime has been demolished. A funny story at a statue. A personal message from your partner on the spot where you kissed for the first time.”

And it’s certainly less antisocial than scribbling your name on a nearby wall.

For more information on Krumb, check out their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Price: free
System: iOS 8.0 or higher / Android 4.0 or higher
Size: 24 MB

All images incl. the header image: Krumb