I forgot about the exchange until a week later, when a mutual friend and I got to talking about the lovey-dovey couple. Fast forward to , and no one is ashamed to admit they met on the Internet. But what does the future of online dating hold for us? FriXion has developed Bluetooth-enabled sex toys , which allow one partner to feel the action the other one is taking. Instead of limiting webcam sex to mutual masturbation and dirty talk, FriXion users will be able to actually have penetrative sex through their computers.
While current FriXion technology is focused on webcam-to-webcam experiences, Seth thinks that pretty soon, humans will be able to have full-on romantic relationships with bots. Seth says that artificially intelligent sex partners will completely change not just how we interact with technology, but also how we interact with other human beings.
That could definitely shift the power balance in these relationships. Every stage of the relationship, from the moment the couple meets to the first time they have sex to the marriage, would take place online. Will most dating take place offline? Some sex tech companies, like FriXion, OhMiBod , and the Netherlands-based long-distance sex toy startup Kiiroo , are already focusing on teledildonics and haptic technologies , the terminology for Wi-Fi—enabled sex toys that can be controlled via apps or other computer programs.
But other companies are trying to get us off the Internet by using technology as the initial point of contact, before two people can meet up IRL. Entrepreneur Lori Cheek is one of many who believe that online dating has pulled us further apart rather than bringing us closer together.
Cheek thinks that on-demand dating apps like Tinder have made it increasingly difficult and for people to take the first step toward connecting with people in real life rather than on their phones.
This is not an isolated trend. While the first big wave of online dating sites, like OkCupid, Match. The ultimate algorithmic dating website would know so much about each individual that it would be unbeatable. It could, in fact, look a lot like online dating today—only smarter. Using complex algorithms to match couples has always been the focus of online dating sites, from Match. Recently, newer dating sites like Hinge and Tinder, which are mobile and offer a quicker, more efficient sign-up process, have been moving away from questionnaire-fueled algorithms.
We just have to change where they get their information from. Most online dating sites believe that their algorithms, which are all based on information that users explicitly give them in combination with some semi-scientific methodology , are the best out there. As the hub of all social networking for hundreds of millions of people, Facebook is currently best positioned to turn our online information into the super-smart algorithmic matching method that other dating sites lack.
If we let numbers and data do the matchmaking for us, would anyone ever work up the nerve to tell that friend they have a crush on them? Yoke, which launched in , can be viewed as a rudimentary example of how Facebook data can be used for matchmaking.
Leaving it all to the algorithms Envisioning Facebook as the future of online matchmaking leads us to the inevitable, somewhat terrifying question: What if one dating app or online matchmaking company got its hands on all of our data? It could potentially remove the serendipity and randomness from dating. If we let numbers and data do the matchmaking for us, would anyone ever work up the nerve to tell that friend they have a crush on them or bother approaching a cute guy on the train, especially if they knew a website could guarantee a better match for them?
If nothing else, it would almost certainly signal the death knell of the rom-com—but if all else fails, we can just stick to having sex with robots.