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.


WhatsApp has 400 million users in India, but no fix for its fake news problem

WhatsApp is struggling to stem the tide of fake news in India, its biggest market. In the last few years, its platform has been inundated with an around-the-clock avalanche of misinformation -- misleading mobs into lynching innocents and…
Product Review

Here's what we think after a weekend with Samsung's giant Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus is here, and it’s the biggest and best Samsung phone ever. Its key feature is its looks, as it has an attractive rear design, highlighted by the new Aura Glow color, but little else has changed.
Movies & TV

Disney+: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.

From technical specs to games, here's what we know about Project Scarlett

Microsoft is designing the successor to the Xbox One: Project Scarlett. Here is everything we know about the next-gen console, including its rumored release window and support for older Xbox consoles' games.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: iPhone 11 and Nintendo Switch leaks, insect meat, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including leaks of an iPhone 11 case and the Nintendo Switch mini console, Samsung’s roll-up display, virtual reality massage, insect meat, and more.

Apple reportedly canceled development of its augmented reality glasses

Reports have surfaced over the last few months that Apple was working on a pair of augmented reality glasses, but a report from DigiTimes suggests that Apple may have canceled, or at least temporarily suspended, the project.
Emerging Tech

Trippy VR demo reads your brain waves to create sleep-inducing visuals

Struggle to get to sleep? Researchers in Australia have been experimenting with ways to combine a person’s brain activity with virtual reality to create a kind of VR lullaby machine.

Shoot, dance, box, and escape reality with the very best Oculus Quest games

The Oculus Quest offers a fantastic virtual reality experience without the need for a PC or console tethered to your headset. These are the best Oculus Quest games available right now.

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

So you’re considering buying an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 30 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

From controllers to the cameras, here's what we know about the HTC Vive Cosmos

The HTC Vive Cosmos headset is a premium VR device equipped with a modular design and ease-of-use when setting up. Here is everything we know about the headset, including its cameras and controllers.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Antitrust review of big tech, UPS goes drone, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we cover the biggest news stories in tech, including the Justice Department’s antitrust review of big tech, UPS' foray into drones, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch, and more.

The Oculus Go, our favorite budget VR headset, is now on sale for even cheaper

Virtual reality has come into its own in recent years, and you no longer have to spend $500 to get a good VR headset. Our favorite budget-friendly unit, the Oculus Go, is now on sale for even cheaper.

Dive into the best VR experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist on it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR surpassed expectations and it comes with 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.