Tinder pranks CES with its multi-user VR headset for couples

Tinder is launching a virtual reality headset. Gotcha! It’s not doing anything of the sort. Instead, the dating app has set up a stall at CES with its very own fake VR device, all for the LOLs — its words, not ours.

If you happen to be at the convention in Las Vegas and can tear yourself away from the multitude of product launches, you can go and stare into the eyes of another person using Tinder’s hollow shell of a device. The company claims its little publicity stunt marks its bid to take the “V out of VR.”

“We created our multi-user VR headset with the Tinder experience in mind. Real people having a real experience, and like the app, it only works with a double opt-in,” explains the company in a blog post. But, what happens if you don’t have anyone to stare back at you? Will you be left alone to stare longingly into the void while the rest of the CES crowd simply mulls around you? It’s almost as depressing as not connecting with that supposedly special someone you super-liked on Tinder.

The company has even created a sleek ad, voiced by a British narrator, for the fake device. The clip sees the rather bulky dual headset gradually revealed, with the red Tinder logo emblazoned on its side. As the camera pans out from the darkness, we see the device worn by two people (a man and a woman) as they’re forced to stare at one another.

Tinder may tout itself as a platform that’s all about the “human connection,” but in actual fact its app is viewed by some as a mere numbers game. Boiling down social relations to the simplest of gestures (Tinder pioneered the swipe-based interface) hardly seems like a way to cultivate connections.

Instead of encouraging the rest of us to get up off our backsides and go out and meet people, perhaps it should find a hollow headset of its own to stare into while it considers the real impact it’s had on dating culture.

But we digress. This is all a harmless bit of fun after all. And, in reality, Tinder is well aware of the part VR may play when it comes to online dating in the near future. In Brian Heater’s contribution to Digital Trends’ DT10 series, covering dating and relationships, Tinder co-founder Jonathan Badeen claimed VR could transform the space sooner rather than later. “In maybe two or five years’ time, I think it’s going to become a real interesting thing. It’s personal on a different side of things. I think that it will end up playing a large role,” remarked Badeen.

The truth is that virtual reality could take some of the obstacles out of online dating. Allowing people to meet and interact with each other in a virtual environment before meeting in real life could potentially offer a safeguard for users. While we may never see a Tinder VR headset, a Tinder app for existing and future VR devices sounds more, well, realistic. After all, you can already use Tinder on your Apple TV in full HD. If, or when, VR dating does become a reality, Tinder will want to jump on that bandwagon for real.


5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.

Love Playmoji pack adds animated Valentine’s stickers to your Pixel photos

Valentine's Day is here, and to celebrate, Google has added the "Love Playmoji" pack to the Playground feature on its Google Pixel camera. The new feature will add cute AR-driven extras to your Pixel photos.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.