Light-speed dating

It’s Saturday night, your contacts have all been dialled, sent texts or e-mailed, and you’ve still not got a date for the evening. You’re about to get the metro home, when your mobile rings…
…not from one of your known contacts, but it’s your speed dating app buzzing you.

Instead of hitting the hay, within hours, you’re hitting the town with a brand new beau on your arm!

Okay, dating on a wing and a prayer will not be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. Certainly, the more mature dating age groups, ot those looking for a more substantial relationship, may wish to analyse potential partners over a PC screen rather than over an iPhone or Android display. And, presumably, with a little more notice than ‘meet you in an hour’.

But that’s what the new app HowAboutWe can do for you. If you’re in the right place, at the right time, you could be meeting up with a brand new date in minutes, rather than having to wait for weeks, or even months, as is the norm with your standard internet-based dating service.

There are variations on the theme. You can download this app as a stand-alone dating service or, if you are an existing dating website member, you may find that the service to which you subscribe has started to integrate this service through their portal.

The app was originally designed to be a facility whereby people looking for love online could look to meet likeminded within the local vicinity, but using traditional dating site methods, such as filling in your profile, meeting people in chat rooms or forums, then posting private e-mails and waiting patiently for a response.

However, since the conversion of the app into an instant online date facility, its popularity has exploded, opening up a possible new niche for those looking to find love online sooner rather than later.  Theoretically, this type of service would appeal to those who have few commitments and can drop everything to get to a date literally as if ‘on call’. And those assumptions are reflected in the figures posted by the app hosts; those using the application most frequently tend to be in the 20-30 year old age group.

This has lead to some questionable press about the app being used by people who are perhaps only looking for one thing. And that’s not to discuss the amount of money spent in the Premiership or the latest offers in Selfridges.

However, as online security develops and apps are becoming available whereby you can check a potential date’s credentials against government records, or even criminal records, meeting via this app, whether as a stand alone download or through your registered dating site membership, it may, in the long run, prove to be a safer way to meet people than going out and trying to find a date off-the-cuff in your local town or city.

NYPD? DYP App polices dating prospects for you

With countless new dating sites eternally hitting the internet, it’s no surprise that security is a growing concern. The real worry, especially with many free dating site ventures that rely purely on advertising or sponsorship for revenue, is that countless new sign-ups are being allowed to register with appropriate scrutiny.

Following on from the beta launch of the tru.ly app in the US, which double-checks new singles dating site registrations against governmental records, there is yet another security-conscious app, this time which can check a potential date’s criminal records.

Available for both iPhones and Android devices, the new instantly-downloadable application, called the ‘Docket in Your Pocket’ is currently available only in Pennsylvania.  However, it may well catch on quickly across the internet dating global community.

For a one-time price of $2.99, once installed the app searches through over 32 million court records, stretching back to the start of this millenium. Few crimes are exempt, which is good news for the dating community at large. If a potential date has commited a jaywalking offence, that may even be considered an ice-breaker after striking up your online relationship.

However, if the crime is as serious as robbery, or even rape, for the sake of $2.99, this application could be one of the best investmants for the online dating community in a long while. And it may be worth getting now, as the cost to keep the records up-to-date as it deletes older records to make way for the latest week’s new ones is running at around $600. This may mean that for future downloads, a subscription may be required in order to make it profitable for the creator.

Matt Haindfield, who developed the application affectionately christened the ‘DYP’, did so after drawing up blanks for every platform available to mobile devices for researching criminal records.

Mr Haindfield, a lawyer from Iowa, was looking into the dubious criminal past of a witness but could find nothing whatsoever available; subsequently, he has no qualms about the legitimacy or moral debate about the records which many online dating services could eventually endorse.

It is Mr Haindfield’s reasoning that, as these records are held by the state, ownership transfers to the public, because people’s taxes fund that state.

The one concern that has been raised, however, is the possible impact this device can have on existing relationships, on- or off-line, or in the workplace. It is quite possible to see how, ‘for a laugh’, a group of workmates or friends could put their names through this app. If one of the group has a record that they have worked hard to leave in the past, it may lead to them being ostracised for something that is irrelevant to the person they are now.

But, for the purposes of online dating, it is nothing but a plus – prevention, as they say, is better thn cure.