It’s easy to get down about online dating.
These pages have documented some of the pitfalls from the Tinder jerks that were documented in the recent “Bye Felipe” controversy, to the more concerning safety and fraud issues that the platforms can invite.
Beyond those very really concerns, the sheer awkwardness of a first online date can be almost as bad. The person whose profile seems perfect and made you laugh with their online messages, could turn out to be a different proposition altogether in the flesh.
Maybe your date’s picture was misleading, or the person is just extremely shy making real life conversation, preventing the development of any legit chemistry.
Simply deciding on the right first date activity can be the most challenging part. Dinner is often too formal, but coffee dates can be distracting and too brief to make a real connection with your date.
Perhaps with this in mind, software developers recently demonstrated Cyborg Dating, a new twist that attempts to solve for that awkward first date encounter and create real intimacy through the power of virtual reality.
The idea is that one person wears VR goggles, such as Google Cardboard, while their partner helps supervise them and ensure they don’t fall into a ditch while navigating their virtual environment.
The pair then accomplish their “OutdoorVR” mission while the software simultaneously guides the person wearing goggles with helpful conversational prompts to avoid those awkward first date silences.
The creators of the project say that Cyborg Dating serves as a glimpse into the future when virtual and normal reality will coexist, kind of like in the movie Her.
It was unclear if the virtual reality goggles can be programmed to allow for the fake phone call from a friend in case you immediately know your date is lame.
You can read more on the Cyborg Dating project at the Fast Co. Design web site.
What do you think about this concept? Cool ice breaker activity, or date from hell in the making?