Can These Gizmos Help Your Love Life?

Can These Gizmos Help Your Love Life?

Can new cell phones and services really help you meet your soul mate and waltz off into the sunset together? Read about the latest innovations designed to do just that—and judge for yourself.

By Dan Bova

Here, the three new bits of technological innovation designed to help you meet—and stay matched with—your soul mate. Do they work? See what you think.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your cell phone could tell you when a potential love match was right across the street, or sitting behind you on the bus? That’s what more than 1,000 single Singaporeans hope will happen since they’ve downloaded free BEDD software at It’s simple: You program in your date-worthy attributes, a digital photo, and what you’re looking for in a mate. Then, wherever you go, your cell automatically scans participating phones nearby. Once it finds a match, both phones alert their users that a great date may be just a few feet away. A similar service called Sense Six may hit the U.S. this summer, hoping to give people a high-tech way to just "bump into" a perfect partner on the street.

Ah, the temptations of "drunk dialing": It’s three in the morning and you’ve had three too many tequila shots—perfect time to call that guy or girl you dig for a little action, right? To save you from making a fool out of yourself, the fine folks at Virgin Mobile in Australia now offer the world’s first anti-drunk-dialing cell-phone feature called Dialing Under the Influence. Entering the code 333 plus a phone number will prevent you from making any outgoing calls to those digits until 6 a.m. the following day. The cost is 25 cents per blocked call—some might say a small price to pay for preserving one’s dignity.

In Hong Kong and other places around the globe, guys who don’t have a girlfriend—and want some training in how to wow them—can sign up for a virtual one at These pixilated pixies will appear on your cell phone cooing sweet nothings, but be warned, these are high-maintenance gals. Similar to Tamagotchi pets which require "food" and "walks," V-girls require "flowers," "gifts," and other expressions of your adoration. And sorry, most of ’em will cost you real cash, drained straight from your credit card (after all, the company, Artificial Life, isn’t doing this out of the kindness of their hearts). The more you spend, the more cuddly she becomes; get lazy and she’ll give you the silent treatment.

Dan Bova is a deputy editor at Stuff magazine. He used a different kind of technology to woo his wife Lisa—lots of alcohol.
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