gotta getta lovegety
Joe Barrera (joebar@MICROSOFT.com)
Fri, 15 May 1998 11:52:25 -0700
From: Nev Dull <mailto:[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]> [mailto:email@example.com]
Forwarded-by: Joseph Harper < <mailto:joeha@MICROSOFT.com>
Japanese singles desperately seeking soulmates are turning to pocket alarms
that bleep and flash when a likely lover is close by.
The egg-shaped "Lovegety" will, the brochure promises, "get your heart".
The alarms can be set in three modes according to the kind of relationship
required: friend, playmate or lover.
When the man or woman of your dreams is within 15ft - and assuming they are
also equipped with the mechanical matchmaker - Lovegety starts bleeping. A
flashing green light means you are both in lover mode.
However, if even this method of meeting a mate involves too much chance,
Lovegety owners can tell potential partners their whereabouts by advertising
it on a website provided by the manufacturer. About 350,000 hopeful lovers
have already bought the electronic cupids.
In Tokyo, where teenage girls regularly pick up dates by randomly dialling
pager numbers, the Lovegetys are an instant hit. Kaori, 17, said: "I set
mine to lover mode and, if the guy is cool, I'll say 'hello'. But if he's
ugly, I switch it off straight away."
"It's a great way to break the ice," said Kiyoshi, 21, who takes his
Lovegety to clubs and bars. "It takes away the embarrassment of having to
ask whether girls are available."
Junko, 17, who met her boyfriend when her alarm was on playmate mode, hopes
to become the first Lovegety bride - but so far her parents have withheld
their consent. "They say it's no foundation for marriage," she said.
A spokesman for Airfalk, the company behind the Lovegety, said: "It's hard
to meet people these days as everyone is so closed off." It is already
planning more sophisticated versions with display panels showing what your
potential lover looks like along with other vital statistics.
However, they should be aware that the alarm does not always guarantee
Miyuki, 18, said: "I was with two girlfriends and our Lovegetys all started
bleeping. We saw this guy and he was really handsome so we started waving,
but as soon as he saw us he ran away."