July 14, 2024

Tinder could become the ‘Pokeman Go’ of AR Dating

Instead of chasing cute little monsters via augmented reality smartphones, as in last year’s craze Pokeman Go’, augmented reality could soon lead to millions of men and women chasing their future loves down the street if the chairman of dating site ‘Tinder’ has his way. Sean Rad spoke to the BBC recently of his plan to introduce both A.I. and AR to the popular dating app, allowing members to identify suitable partners who may be located nearby.

“I think this might sound crazy,” Mr Rad said on Tuesday at tech conference Start-Up Grind.
“In five years time, Tinder might be so good, you might be like “Hey [Apple voice assistant] Siri, what’s happening tonight?’
“And Tinder might pop up and say ‘There’s someone down the street you might be attracted to. She’s also attracted to you. She’s free tomorrow night. We know you both like the same band, and it’s playing – would you like us to buy you tickets?’… and you have a match.
“It’s a little scary.”…

…Mr Rad sees a time when Tinder could offer a form of real-life traffic party through augmented reality.
AR is the technology that overlays digital images onto the real world as you walk around. So far the only truly popular application of it has been Pokemon Go, which, while bringing people together, isn’t the relationship fast-track most people are presumably looking for.
But what if you could use AR to meet potential partners?

“That will definitely impact dating,” Mr Rad said, noting Tinder is popular for so many people because it allows us to show interest in a person without the fear of rejection.
“You can imagine how, with augmented reality, that experience could happen in the room, in real time. The impact is profound as these devices get closer to your senses, to your eyes, to your experiences.”
That might make you deeply uncomfortable. I don’t blame you. As ever, it will be up to technology companies – not just Tinder – to roll out such ideas in way that doesn’t encroach on privacy, or indeed, common decency and manners. The key word here is, as always, consent.
Tinder’s future lives and breathes on its ability to remain the most popular app for getting people together and into relationships. More recently, rival services like Bumble have shown signs of disrupting Tinder’s dominance. Bumble’s key selling point is the fact women have to initiate the conversations.
But there’s plenty of market to go round. Tinder now has a far more global focus, Mr Rad said, with approximately 600 million smartphone-toting single people ready to find The One.