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The Amico Bracelet: Restoring A Little Mystery To Meeting People

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Startup Alley Day 2 — So Many Companies, So Little Time [TCTV]

Do you remember life before the Internet? Can you recall a time when meeting someone new took place serendipitously and was uncluttered with all the profile searching and stalking? A time when there was a little mystery in taking weeks or months to uncover the contents of a new friend’s music collection?

A time where, when you did meet someone interesting, you didn’t have every bit of information about them instantly available — where they studied, where they work, what food they like.

Let me be clear, the Amico Bracelet would not restore this earlier era. But this concept could possibly restore just a little bit of mystery to meeting people — when you are actively trying to meet people, that is.

The Amico, made by Trovare, is (or will be) a wearable Bluetooth 4-enabled bracelet. It will synchronize with a mobile app that aggregates your social network profile and port that info into the bracelet’s onboard memory. It will then broadcast an aggregate view of this social profile (at a distance of about 50 meters). Other people who are wearing an Amico will also broadcast their profile. When two profiles that are deemed to be a good match come within proximity of each other…both bracelets will vibrate. Boom! Fireworks.

There you have it. You will be notified when the girl/guy of your dreams is within 50 meters of you. But you won’t explicitly know what the person looks like or any other info about them. You will just know that a match is nearby and it will be up to you to get off your ass and work to find that dreamboat.

I mean, this is still cheating right? The deck is stacked in your favor and the device is doing work for you that you should probably be doing yourself — reading body language, searching for intangibles or absorbing pheromones. But still, there is some mystery here.

It’s a compelling concept, but what is at play here that makes this interesting? A couple of things.

Gamification
There is an element of gameplay to this concept. The thrill of an imminent meetup without a spoiler.

Runs In The Background
It pushes search into the background a bit and doesn’t require you to feverishly and addictively consult your mobile phone every five seconds to see who’s checked into the bar you’re in (but let’s be honest, you are still probably going to do that anyway).

A Second Chance
Most interestingly, the system is designed in such a way that if you did get a notification that a match is nearby, but you just can’t find each other, both profiles will show up back in the app upon your next sync. So you could get a second chance to meet.

The company has raised $250,000 in private funding, but is seeking another $750,000 – $1,000,000 to get the device into production.

When the Amico eventually comes to market, it should be priced at around $40 or so. A small price to pay to keep the one that got away from getting away.