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Lovegety was a proximity matchmaking device introduced in Feb. 1998 in Japan by Erfolg Co.,ltd., which allowed users to find potential dates that match their personal preferences in the vicinity. Over 1,300,000 of these units were sold in Japan at an approximate price of $21.[1]

It was the first such device, and "the first commercial attempt to move introduction systems away from the desktop and into reality".[2] As such, it was an important precursor for other location-based social networking applications such as Nokia's Bluetooth-based Nokia sensor, and more recent geolocation-based social applications such as StreetSpark.[3]

There were three modes users could pre-select on the Lovegety device which reflected the mood they were currently in and hence what kind of partner they were looking for. These included “let’s just chat”, “let’s go sing some karaoke” and “get2” or "looking for love" modes. The devices could be set to interact with each other when a potential mate was within close proximity (15 feet) or to simply notify a user of others who are currently set to the same mood.

Howard Rheingold reflects on technologies such as the Lovegety in his work and urges that as consumers we think carefully about the social implications of these technologies. Rheingold states that ‘loss of privacy is perhaps the most obvious shadow side of technological cooperation systems’.[4]

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  1. ^ Lovegety was planned and manufactured by Japanese venture company. Makoto Miyanouchi, Takeya Takafuji, Harumi Hibiki was core member of Lovegety project. Takeya Takafuji planning director said that" Lovegety opened mobile communication world using mobile devices." Lookin' For Love in New Cyber Spaces
  2. ^ "Social Serendipity: Mobilizing Social Software" Authors: Nathan Eagle MIT Media Laboratory, Alex Pentland MIT Media Laboratory Published in: IEEE Pervasive Computing Journal Volume 4 Issue 2, April 2005 [1]
  3. ^ - StreetSpark: Foursquare for Dating, retrieved 4/17/2012
  4. ^ Rheingold, Howard (2002) Smart Mobs: the Next Social Revolution, Perseus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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