Other People’s IP: New Disclosures

Invention: “System and method for facilitating selection of dating partners in online dating environments”

Filing date: March 29, 2013

Publication date: October 2, 2014

CLICK HERE for full patent

Description: The inventors describe their system as a method for selecting dating partners from pre-existing social networks. Essentially, people browse through profiles of people on the dating website, but only have access to profiles of people who are friends of their friends on an existing digital social network. While browsing, if someone comes across the profile of someone they would like to know better, they send a message to their friend asking them to introduce them through the digital dating portal.

Discussion: I found this invention interesting for two reasons. First, it appears to very clearly represent the merging of online/offline living through reproducing older ways of meeting people (at physical social functions organized through social networks) in an online forum. Second, looking further at online/offline aspects of this platform, there is a rhetoric of the gamification of dating in the patent’s summary, which I found intriguing because it invokes both present conversations and heavy interest in gamification in information and technology research, while also recalling older histories of dating games (quite literally, “The Dating Game” (1965-1986)). In short, this technology appears to avoid the radically new (Tinder) and the radically old (a chance meeting at a cocktail party) for something hovering and oscillating back and forth in the middle; old and new together at once. If one were to research new technologies that are attempting to operate in this kind of liminal space, I wonder what they would find? What questions about human-computer/information interaction they might begin to ask?

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Nikola Bicanic and Arben Kryeziu.System and method for facilitating selection of dating partners in online dating environments. Nikola Bicanic and Arben Kryeziu, assignee. Patent US 20140297379 A1. October 2 2014. Print.

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