Innovation That Matters

Online speed dating

Work & Lifestyle

Until recently there has been online dating—traditionally a matter of photos and profiles—and speed dating, which took the offline dating world by storm. The two were obviously a match made in heaven, though, because in the last few months several new sites have begun offering speed dating online. WooMe, for example, which launched in November, is an online introduction platform that allows users to meet, see and hear people live in 1-minute conversations. Using a webcam and WooMe’s optimized in-browser video and voice capability, users congregate online for five-minute “speed sessions” in which everyone gets to meet five new people. Users can create their own session focusing on a particular topic, or they can join one that’s already scheduled. Either way, they decide whether they’ve been “woo’d” or not by each member they meet and pursue the connections with those they like. San Francisco-based WooMe is backed by the founders of Skype (Atomico Investments), Mangrove Capital Partners and Klaus Hommels, and its service is free. Camlink, meanwhile, is another free service aimed at bringing speed dating to the web. Still in beta, the New York-based service offers online speed date sessions of mini-dates ranging anywhere from 1 minute “turbo dates” to 5 minute introductions. Sessions are all based on themes, such as “New York movie lovers” or “Jewish singles.” During each date in a session, users vote whether they like the person they’re speaking with or not; if both sides vote “yes” the system detects the match and users are prompted to select which contact information to share. Finally, California-based SpeedDate, also free, lets users go on live, 3-minute dates through voice, video and IM, and then vote for those they like. Once again, if both parties click “yes” for each other, they are given the opportunity to contact each other and pursue the connection. Dating is an area that just keeps on spurring new innovation. While all three of these sites are open to users around the world, the concept begs for localized versions. One to bring to an area near you! (Related: Dating 3.0, Group dating.) Websites: Spotted by: Luke Humble and Ozgur Alaz




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