I don’t know how my mind works, but during the drive to work this morning – a business idea popped into my head!
Today’s world is online – we work online, we play online, we shop online, we research online, we learn online – and we build relationships online. Online dating is HUGE, that we cannot deny – but it is fraught with anxieties.
I have many single friends, all telling blogworthy tales of ‘interesting’ first dates and encounters. There are some positive stories – where boy meets girl online, then girl meets boy in the ‘real’ world, then boy and girl hit it off and live happy ever after.
There are the horror stories though – they stories that have stemmed mistrust and anxiety when it comes to taking the leap from ‘virtual’ to ‘reality’. Bad experiences lead to being (quite rightly) over cautious – as much digging around for contact information, social network profiles, sharing this with a friend – along with where you are meeting, when you are meeting – and the phone call that you get an hour into the date where your friend calls you and whispers ‘do you need an excuse to leave?’.
How to stay safe?
So, I do not have any idea why, but this morning I was driving to the office (or rather sitting in traffic) and my entrepreneurial skills (ok, less ‘entrepreneurial’ and more ‘imagination running wild’) kicked in. In my head I have created an online dating site – called ‘Safe Date’ – yes, I even have a company name! It is based around the concept for safety of lone workers such as Social Workers.
So what on earth does a Social Worker’s safety precautions have to do with Online Dating, apart from the fact that some Social Workers are indeed single?
Well, here’s how ‘Safe Date’ could work:
Step 1: Sign up online – have contact details verified
Step 2: Get matched online with ‘suitors’ through very clever algorithm
Step 3: Build early relationship online
Step 4: Bite the bullet and arrange to meet – at a neutral venue that has been publicised on the dating site – in a ‘TripAdvisor’ style review / recommendation by other daters section.
Here’s where the clever ‘safe Tech’ cuts in – just as it would for a social worker/ lone worker !!
- You send 3 texts to a central number. 1st says ‘Name of person you are meeting’, 2nd says ‘where you are meeting’ and 3rd says anticipated finish time of date
- After one hour you get a call from central app
- When get call –
- press ‘1’ to say ‘I am here and safe’ – triggers next check in call at anticipated date finish time
- press ‘5’ to say ‘I am here but not comfortable’ – to trigger a call to your nominated best friend for a ‘rescue’
- press ‘9’ to say ‘alert the police’
- At the end of the date, both daters get a call and are asked to ‘rate their date’ for ‘feeling safe and comfortable’ – press 1 for ‘safe as houses’ with a sliding scale to 9 for ‘unsafe/felt vulnerable’ – and they get a star rating on the site.
Its only an idea – and it would cut down on those horror dating stories that you share over a glass of something with your friends, but just goes to show how tech in real life isn’t just for work but also for our personal lives, and could improve safety for daters and social workers alike! The tech behind this idea already exists, and is called OScAR (Not a single guy waiting for a date – but a versatile tech solution!).
Here’s the techy bit:
“OScAR-Eco is the ideal mini server for alarms for low and customer needs, suitable for nursing homes, small branch offices and limited use in larger enterprises. Initiators for alarms can include door contacts and sensors as well as external systems (e.g. nurse call systems in the hospital), phones and single button medallions. OScAR-Eco raises alarms with information on the cause including positioning data, thus guaranteeing fastest mobilization of support staff and service technicians.”
OScAR is a multi tasking piece of tech – from alarms when freezers go off in supermarkets, to multiple uses in industries such as Health Care, or vulnerable Lone Worker safety in the field.
It’s well worth a look!
<<Maybe I should take my business idea to ‘The Apprentice’ and Lord Alan Sugar….. It *could* catch on!>>