Embrace Your Inner Furry: Microsoft Patents 'Fringe Interests' Dating Service
An ingenious idea: Let those with “incongruous” dating appetites admit their kinks and quirks quietly, and, when no one is looking, have a match service pair them with potentially like-minded weirdos mates. Microsoft filed a patent in 2009 — but made public last week — for its own online dating service, with an algorithm into which users can secretly enter “private affinities,” thus matching up with people of similar “fringe interests” (especially those conflicting with the user’s public persona). The example of “interests” Microsoft refers to is, of course, people who dig comic books. Yeah, COMIC BOOKS. Wink-nudge.
While there’s no news as to whether or not this service will ever become a reality, it’d be interesting to see an online dating system that lets singles be more honest and forthright. The patent reads: “Most users of such conventional systems understand that any affinity (or other information) included in an associated profile or space can be viewed by any third party who accesses that profile. This situation can substantially serve as a chilling effect on self expression or at least result in a profile that is a less accurate or less comprehensive representation of the associated user.”
Basically, if you are worried about how prospective dates might take your taste for cosplaying as a Victorian-era spy, you can discreetly let Microsoft know that period dramas and espionage are kind of your thing, and hope the system will find you another person who digs monocles (and maybe manacles?) as much as you. So, let loose — and hope Microsoft doesn’t tell.