The launch of the Apple Watch brings new possibilities: one of which is watch-based dating. 3nder, the dating app for threesomes, has come up with something called Close Encounters, which is designed especially for the wrist.
3nder talks about its new concept in a Medium post, and says that the Apple Watch “inspired us to create something that will help all of us. A new way to connect with open-minded people.” The matchmaking tool isn’t for three-ways, unlike 3nder, but it does look like it’ll be about “evolving beyond social norms.”
Firstly, you can’t see anyone else on the app. Only basic information, a bio, interests, and desires are featured. Close Encounters has no photos—“We decided to ditch photos and focus on the surprise element of dating. It’s similar to blind dating, that’s why we tease you with some bits of information about the human,”3nder explains on Medium.
Another intriguing part of the Apple Watch app is that there’s no “device interaction” required at all. The technology works by notifying users when someone else is close by: Close Encounters will make the Apple Watch vibrate on users’ wrists, then show people, using little red dots on the screen, where other people are.
If an Apple Watch dater likes the look of someone’s interests, desires, and so on, they just have to share their location and a little red line appears that will lead both parties to one another.
3nder does have safety and privacy in mind, though. Users can hide or ignore potential matches if they’re not feeling like a date. And if they agree to a meet, they can activate something called “Emergency Mode,” which will tell the police where they are and share the location of their “date.”
The developer believes this is the future of dating. Technology has certainly revolutionised the way people get together. First came websites, such as OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. And with smartphones, apps like Tinder and Happn arrived. A dating app for watches is inevitable.
Close Encounters hasn’t launched yet—and probably won’t for a while, as Apple is being restrictive about who can release a product. But Dimo Trifonov from 3nder told me that his team plan develop it once Apple grants “full access to the SDK.” As he mentioned, things took a while to get going with the first iPhone, too.
“Hopefully they are going to give us more access by the end of the year,” Trifonov noted. “So it might take couple of months or a year.” Right now, only big players including Uber, Citymapper, and Nike have apps on Apple Watches.
There hasn’t been a lot of news about dating apps on the Apple Watch. But The League, Tinder for the rich and successful, did say that it will match Apple Watch users together. Even then, its developers haven’t said anything about developing a product-specific version of its app.