[pcomp week 8] Final project idea: Tinder Robot

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This idea came to me in as I was falling asleep a few weeks ago, which probably means that it’s either really good or really bad. I hope to find out which one it is soon!

My idea for my final project in pcomp is based around the popular dating app, Tinder. The way it works is that it shows you profiles of other users, and you can “swipe left” to say no, and “swipe right” to say yes. I think it would be interesting to have a computer automate the process for you by reading your body to determine whether or not you truly want to say yes or no to a potential match. Reading your “heart’s desire,” if you will.

The user, connected to some kind of biometric sensor (heart rate monitor? GSR sensor? both?)  would look at a Tinder profile on the screen, and the computer would read whether or not they were excited by the profile. If not, a robot hand controlled by a motor or a servo of some kind would swipe left. If so, it would swipe right.

For demoing purposes, I’d set up some kind of dummy Tinder account that anyone can try. But I think this experiment would be even more interesting if users were willing to put their own phones and Tinder accounts on the line, so there actually some (small) stakes for them.

There are a few questions, of course, that I need answer moving forward:

  • What kind of sensors should be used?
  • How should the data be read to interpret interest or lack of interest?
  • What potential obstacles are there in the Tinder UI? (For example, I think if you and another user both swipe right, a different screen pops up. How would we deal with that?)
  • Should we use another display to show what the sensor readings are? (I drew one in the sketch above just in case.)