I have written before on here about Tinder - the revolutionary dating app that taps into some basic app (and attraction) principles to create an enormously popular and fast way to match people up. It has become one of the most successful dating apps on the market, creating real long term relationships from its left and right swiping format.
And as the concept of Tinder has evolved, in its wake we have begun to see a new generation of apps - apps upon apps - that have been designed to help human beings take the seeds of romance planted by Tinder to the next level. A prime, yet ultimately depressing example of this is an app called HeroBoyfriend, which has been created to help romantically stunted men keep that Tinder fire burning. The app was created by a couple of Aussies who spotted that, although there were plenty of dating sites and apps for lonely hearts, there was nothing out there to help people keep that spark going. Or, as the tech startup owners themselves put it "the whole digital dating industry is focused on acquisition and nobody is working on retention."
Ladies and gentlemen, that sound you hear is romance exiting the building. Actually, it hasn't just left the building, it's downloaded Google Maps, entered some co-ordinates for an isolated Pacific island and is now making its way to the nearest tube towards Heathrow terminal four.
Essentially, the idea for the app was borne from one of the developers screwing up his own long term relationship, something he feels wouldn't have happened had he the benefit of the wisdom supplied by HeroBoyfriend. We'd like to hear the perspective of his ex on this one...
So how does it work? Well essentially HeroBoyfriend is downloaded to said clueless boyfriend's smart phone and will then send curated reminders and suggestions so that he can keep his girlfriend happy, whether that's doing the cleaning, buying flowers or...err...displaying affection. The app is personalised at the start by the user answering five simple questions that are designed to tailor the content depending on the personalities involved.
There are also location based nudges - for example if you happen to be at the supermarket it might remind you that it's a good idea to buy bins bags (in case it's also time to take the bin out...).
Completely and utterly soulless, perhaps, but nonetheless, it's certainly a novel idea that uses the latest tech developments and applies them to a profitable space. However, the question remains that if a woman discovers her boyfriend requires an app to tell him to give her a cuddle or empty the dishwasher whether that won't defeat its purpose when she dumps him for being weird and lazy.