One of the problems with online dating is that it doesn’t produce the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that comes with meeting people in real life.
Or does it?
Believe it or not, our bodies do have a biological reaction to seeing the faces of potential partners on dating websites — we just don’t feel it most of the time, until now. One brilliant NYU student found a way to utilize our chemical reactions when browsing Tinder to help us make choices.
Nicole He, a graduate student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, knows that our bodies are probably better at picking our potential lovers — or at least dates — than our brains are, so she created the True Love Tinder Robot as a final project for her Intro to Physical Computing and Intro to Computational Media classes this fall.
“In a time when it’s very normal for couples to meet online, we trust that algorithms on dating sites can find us suitable partners,” He wrote on her project website. “Simultaneously, we use consumer biometric devices to tell us what’s going on with our bodies and what we should do to be healthy and happy. Maybe it’s not a stretch to consider what happens when we combine these things.”
And it’s freaking awesome.
It works like this: You put your phone down in front of a robot hand with Tinder open. Then you place your hands on the sensors and go through various profiles. As you look, the robot “reads” the way your body reacts to photos via galvanic skin response (aka how sweaty your palms get) and then swipes right or left based on level of attraction. It also makes commentary on your involuntary decisions, according to He.
Alas, it’s only a pipe dream right now, as He only made a prototype for the class. But it looks like there’s a demand for the product, Nicole… hint, hint. I’d totally be willing to plunk down my credit card if it means I’ll make better dating decisions.