Searching for that perfect partner is never easy, and for centuries men and women have looked for love in many unorthodox ways. Women can no longer rely on romantic coffee shop run-ins or any other movie-like scenarios that have falsified our perceptions of love. It’s true, love hits us when we least expect it, but now that we’re living in the 21st century, we can no longer wait for Prince Charming to sweep us off our feet. If people are, to ever find the one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, it’s time that they become proactive when it comes to dating.
When the term “online dating” was first coined, the public's reaction was somewhat cautious, but this method of looking for love is not as new as you would think. According to an article posted on Return of Kings, this unconventional way of dating has been practiced since the 1700s. Of course, there was no internet back then, but when men struggled with the stigma attached to the inability to find a spouse by the age of 21, bachelors started posting their personal ads in newspapers. Although couples then often lied about the first time they had met, women found themselves curious over this dating strategy, leading them to post their own ads as well.
The internet, obviously, became the modern newspaper, connecting singles from every corner of the world. It took some time for online dating to shed its reputation as a desperate means for companionship, and it’s not surprising that some still look down upon it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the internet is an incredibly efficient way to meet new people, as explained by Brains.org. The success of social networking websites has clearly shown the human need for belongingness, even in the virtual world. Social features have even began appearing on other online platforms, such as gaming apps, so users can make human connections with fellow players. Gaming Realms, operator of mobile casino pocketfruity.com, revealed that the market for social gaming is expected to grow to $4 billion by 2015, which only goes to show that even though our primary purposes for the internet have nothing to do with dating, we still have the desire to establish human connections via the World Wide Web.
And with the modern advancements in mobile internet, hopeless romantics are now finding it much easier to form relationships. Critically acclaimed dating websites such as Match.com have branched out to mobile apps as new portals for online dating. Laptop Mag lists the best dating mobile apps to date, and given the amount of time we currently spend on our smartphones and tablets, it won’t be long until you potentially meet “the one”.
Some might still attach a stigma to online dating, but that won't matter if you find yourself falling in love with a person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Are you a bit like Cher from Clueless… always looking to make the perfect match? Or are you like Tai aka Brittany Murphy who was open to getting matched up by her best friend?
If you answered yes to either of the above, you’re in luck! Two young entrepreneurs -- aided by the advances in technology (thank you, iPhone!) -- have come in to save the day with a new app called Closer which is “totally bangin!” (sorry, had to bring the Clueless references full circle). Closer lets you play both the matchmaker and the matchmakee all in one place. It’s a mobile tool that makes getting people connected simple.
Here’s how: the application works by connecting with your Facebook account and loading in all your friends. You simply click the friend that you want to match up and the person you’d want to match them with and it sends them the introduction. And if you are looking to meet new people, you can handpick specific friends on Facebook whom you trust and request them to set you up with people they suggest. You just slide to the right or slide to the left to either “get matched” or “start matching.” It’s easy to use and has a very sleek, cool vibe to boot!
Adding on to the basics, there are a few cool extra features like the “You are Close!” feature that allows users to receive push notifications when matches are close by them and the “Matchmaking Feed” that allows users to see when the friends they set up interact on Facebook (become friends, get tagged in a picture together, change their relationship status, etc.)
So, who spearheaded this awesome idea? Ladies of course! The concept came from two friends, both serial female entrepreneurs in their twenties. Pretty awesome, right? Eugenia Kuyda and Taisia Antonova went to school together in Moscow, but lost touch for many years, until they randomly ran into each other at a bar, reconnected and then came up with this idea for an app.
The co-creators say that Closer is their way of fostering authentic human connection -- because at the end of the day, our friends really know us better than any computer algorithm can. Who better to match us than the people who know us best?
Taisia and Eugenia look forward to expanding this project and opening this up as a way for people to not only meet new dates, but also meet new quality friends and business connections. “The tool is there to create matches and this could support various types and forms of relationships throughout life,” Taisia says.
If you’re digging their mission and want to check out Closer, it is FREE on the iTunes App Store. It’s not yet available on Android or on the Web, but that is in the works as well, according to inside sources.
They are looking for feedback on their app as it continues to grow and improve, so if you can, add some comments below and tell them what you think! Cheers to amazing matches in our lives!
Pixels and robotic arms are probably not the first things that come to mind when you think of modern design and craftsmanship. However, Dutch designer Joris Laarman has married high tech gadgetry with sophisticated motif in his new “Digital Matter,” exhibit now on display at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. Digital Matter is an installation art piece in which Joris Laarman Lab has programmed a robot arm to build ornamented side tables based on a digital blueprint.
Inspired by Cornell and MIT research on programmable matter, Laarman and his team began to experiment with uploading elements of design into automated material. Using robots and other digital fabrication tools, many materials are used to create a form of “digital matter,” a three-dimensional realization of digital images through the use of voxels, or volumetric pixels. I was surprised to see how through this confluence of art, design and science, geometric voxels become elaborate decor.
Abby the robot builds the tables upside down, from the top to the legs. The tables can be built with varying degrees of detail or resolution, so the smaller the voxel, the higher the resolution. Laarman describes the variation of patterns achievable as a sort of “Nintendo Rococo,” referring to the linear designs created with low resolution to the very ornate furniture created with high resolution. If you still can’t picture the process after that explanation, this YouTube video will give you a behind the scenes look at the Laarman Lab’s process.
The Joris Laarman Lab was established in 2004 by Joris Laarman and his partner, filmmaker Anita Star. They consider the lab an experimental playground where craftsmen, scientists and engineers strive to add cultural meaning to technological progress. Their goal is to show the beauty of how things could work using a hands-on approach, and to create objects and installations that eventually contribute to society.
With the combination of technical knowledge, skill and creativity involved in this project, Laarman and his team are well on their way to achieving their goals. I look forward to the day that I can dream up a concept for my décor, email it to a designer and have an original piece of functional art materialize in my home as if from thin air. Check out more of Laarmen’s innovative creations at www.jorislaarman.com.