Invisible Text, a free new app available today on the Android, iOS and BlackBerry platforms, isn't just for the Anthony Weiners of the world. Which is to say, people whose conscience or sense of discretion tends to kick in shortly after hitting "send."
Invisible Text will likely also prove handy for anyone known to send late-night, perhaps-not-entirely-sober messages that he or she wishes to pull back (if the text isn't opened yet, the sender can delete it), as well as anyone who would like to send a message and be assured that its recipient can't screen grab it and share it with all her friends.
Finally, it's also a great solution for any business person, celebrity or Regular Joe who can imagine little worse than losing his phone in a bar, a taxi or to a thief and leaving his messages vulnerable to prying eyes.
Invisible Text makes it easy to discover which friends in your address book also have the app, since both parties must be using it for its features to be effective; but when they do, their mobile worlds become undoubtedly more secure.
As soon as a user puts down her phone, the app locks. And while a message's ID and status are stored on a server, the message itself is not. Conversation are automatically deleted after they end.
"It doesn't have to be about that naughty moment—it can also be for business," said Micah Jesse, a young and fabulous entertainment blogger who played host to an Aug. 14 event during which New York journalists were invited to learn about the app. "This is Snapchat taken to the next level."
(If you are over the age of 29, Snapchat is an iOS and Android app that lets users send a silly or salacious photo or video that self-destructs after viewing.)
Invisible Text users can send videos, texts, voice messages and picture messages, and also set a timer for a message to self-destruct if it's not read after the stated amount of time.
Jesse good-naturedly goaded the room into disclosing what he called "oops-tastic moments"—the message bad-mouthing a boss, accidentally sent to the boss; the message intended for a lover but accidentally sent to a relative.
"This is the power of delete," smiled Jesse. "Some things you can take back."
According to Invisible Text, it uses patent-pending technology that combines message encryption with device pairing.
"Without the correct device information, user ID and password, messages cannot be decrypted. This prevents message interception, thereby helping to preserve a person's privacy and protect against identity theft," the company said in an Aug. 19 statement.
It added, "To date, no other solution can ensure secure data transmission between two devices, including a smartphone, smart TV, computer, tablet, or radio or webcam."
Or, in the words of Jesse, "Bye-bye, Snapchat. Hello, Invisible Text!"