Dating Meets VR – What Are the Boundaries?

Barriers for VR are coming down.

A $300 VR headset is no longer necessary…Samsung VR Gear now comes free with phone. For less than the price of a dinner, you can virtual date without lifting a fork.

Match.com’s “Missed Connections” telling you your potential match was just within 200 yards, will soon be outdated with VR headset prices dropping.

When Smart TV’s launched, the price premium over regular flat screen TV’s was the barrier. But the cost of Smart TV’s quickly plummeted to equal flat screens. The same will be true of VR.

Love is the ultimate app.

Time is the ultimate constraint.

Speed dating events are hard to organize.

But in VR, you can wear your shorts, T-Shirt, not do your hair, and not wear any make-up.

The biggest investment will be your virtual avatar (and the photographer you’d have to hire). Sephora’s new “Virtual Artist” can apply countless combinations of make-up. Set and forget, or change it often.

The Questions, however, resemble the wild west:

  • What’s the UI?
  • What’s the UX?
  • Can you kiss your virtual date goodnight?
  • Can you leave after 5 minutes over virtual coffee?
  • Can you leave ratings like eBay?
  • What next influences matching algorithms: time spent on date, words communicated per minute, F-Bomb counts?
  • It’s a data intensive environment (calling for Li-Fi, which is 100x faster than Wi-Fi), so who pays the freight?
  • Do you pay to meet in real, or does advertising pay the freight (think Angie’s List vs HomeAdvisor)?

If funded by advertising, that personal age/gender/geo/psycho data could be better than Facebook’s.

Or will Facebook enter the VR dating game?

Now my friends: welcome to the magical mystery tour…waiting to take you away.