QuarantineChat, An Encrypted Phone Service That Connects Quarantined People With Each Other

QuarantineChat

Artists Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins of Dialup, have created QuarantineChat, a voice-chat service that seeks to help people continue to have social interactions despite quarantines and cancellations.

We simulate the magic of having a surprise conversation with someone—something that is becoming increasingly rare during the times of a viral epidemic. Get calls at random times and get paired with another person in a one-on-one. Talk about anything: what you’re cooking for dinner, your dreams, or the global economy. …While people can still talk to their friends and family virtually, the experience of spontaneously talking to a stranger is now missing from many of our lives.

This opt-in service places periodic random phone calls that connect participants with one another. There is no obligation to pick up the phone as the system will automatically choose another participant if you are not available.

Once you sign up, you’ll be subscribed to periodic calls. Your caller ID will always say “QuarantineChat” when your phone rings. After a brief moment on hold, you’ll match with another random person. You don’t have to pick up if you’re busy—your partner will be automatically matched with someone else. And you can join and leave the line whenever you’d like. It’s private. You use your phone number to sign up for Dialup, but your matches will only ever see your username. All calls are end-to-end encrypted.

Laurie Segall of DotDotDot Media and correspondent for 60 Minutes signed up and was very pleasantly surprised with the results.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.