8 Ways Relationships Are Going Sci-Fi in 2014
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Future Perfect1 of 9
By Shannan Rouss
Remember when online dating was novel and you needed an actual camera to take a picture? Yeah, neither do we. To help you stay up with the latest hi-tech ways to find love (and keep it), we talked to trend-watcher Terry Young, whose company Sparks & Honey recently teamed up with The Museum of Sex to create a report on the future of sex and relationships. Here, everything you need to know about dating in 2014 and beyond.
Micro-Matching2 of 9
Compatibility based on common interests and other superficial criteria may soon become a thing of the past. One Toronto company, Instant Chemistry, already uses DNA to predict a couple's compatibility. Young predicts that matching based on individuals' mircrobiomes, the 100 trillion microbes living inside and on our bodies, is on the horizon. "Certain microbes have an attraction to other microbes," he explains. "These microbes may work behind the scenes to influence our preferences."
Life Logging3 of 9
Currently you can document your entire life (in 30-second intervals) with The Narrative Clip, a small wearable device that takes pictures every 30 seconds, recording the time and location. Next up? Wearable video-recording (which you can do with Google Glass for limited periods of time). "It can be used to relive the memories of the relationship while you're in the relationship," says Young. You'll also be able to look back on moments, including fights, to study them and try to figure out what went wrong.
Bid Bedroom Data4 of 9
Apps like Spreadsheet measure sound and motion to keep track of your performance in the bedroom, says Young. Spreadsheet crunches the numbers and sends data to your smartphone. With the advent of wearable devices, it won't be long before you're able to get info on your partner's arousal level in real time. Talk about mating games.
Instant Info5 of 9
Wouldn't it be convenient (albeit creepy) if you could look at someone and, in a few seconds, know whether or not he was single, what he did for a living and what kind of music he liked? NameTag app makes that possible. According to the company's site, "NameTag can spot a face using Google Glass' camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles." The catch? Google isn't on board with the technology, though the company behind NameTag is hoping to change that.
Hearing Aid6 of 9
The shoop-shooop song may tell you that it's in his kiss. But if you want to know if he loves you so, it could also be in his voice. Beyond Verbal, which calls itself the emotions analytic company, has created software that analyzes a person's vocal intonations to determine how they really feel about what they're saying. The company recently partnered with Infinity AR, which plans to make the technology compatible with smartphones and smart eyewear (as in Glass) this year.
Invisible Girlfriends?7 of 9
Yes, this actually exists. An online service provides men with the most low-maintenance alternative to an actual girlfriend. Starting at $9.99, Invisible Girlfriend lets guys catfish themselves, receiving interactive texts, voicemails and more from a "make-believe" significant other. For a more 360, Her-like experience, the tech company Nuance is at work on a "cross-device persona project." Called Wintermute, the technology would create a single virtual assistant that works with your phone, your car, your TV and more. How romantic...
Profile Perfection8 of 9
Online dating may make meeting people easier, but new technology could get in the way of finding Mr. Right. As Young points out, anyone looking to put their best face forward can use apps like Facetune to autocorrect profile pics, smoothing away blemishes and fine lines, whitening teeth and creating cheekbones where there once were none. And that may just be the beginning. Virtual "Cyranos" could also analyze words and phrases, helping people craft the perfect message to potential partners.
Mind Reading9 of 9
In an article on Slate, sci-fi author Will McIntosh made his own prediction, envisioning a future where brain imaging might be used to determine whether we're truly in love, or if the emotion we're feeling is more fleeting. (Think of the months you could save by not getting into a relationship doomed to end.) What's more, McIntosh speculates on real-time brain imaging that would give you information on what a partner, or potential partner, is feeling.