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Virtual Reality Dating Industry News

CAN WE MAKE VR DATING SAFE FOR WOMEN?

Dr. Timaree Schmit
Philadelphia Weekly
July 4th, 2022

The Chief Marketing Officer and founder of Planet Theta Aurora Townsend responds on how to make VR Dating safe for women.
 

“On the safety end it’s very simple. Women are concerned for their safety in ways men never consider,” says Aurora Townsend, the Chief Marketing Officer and founder of Planet Theta, a virtual reality dating app. Could VR take some of the safety risk away?

“I’m not suggesting that we are always replacing dates with VR dates, but I do think it’s a great idea to have a few VR dates before meeting in person, she says, adding, “And if your date doesn’t throw up any red flags and the interaction feels good then maybe you can decide it’s worth getting out of your sweatpants to actually meet in person…  I still think a lot of women are going to text their location to a friend for safety and have a bug-out plan, but I think a lot less women are going to need it as they start using VR as a tool to filter out who they should meet in person.”  

The perils of dating– especially online- are many, and Townsend thinks that VR can address some of them, in addition to allowing users to hang out in an enchanted forest and meet others from anywhere in the world. “Theta means rebirth and so Planet Theta will be a rebirth of dating culture,” she says, adding that online dating apps have “run their course.” 

Let's make the metaverse safe for women

EIC Media
June 17th, 2022

The first time I looked at the Metaverse was a very memorable experience. I went to one of the most popular social metaverse worlds, and the moment I loaded the area, I was fascinated by many things that sounded like a teenage boy.

Some people asked, “Would you like to marry me?” And others have called me all sorts of sexual insults and insults. Many of the boys’ avatars looked like young girls with too sexual anime style, wearing only underwear and bras. Surrounded by a 13-year-old boy who is overtly using sexual avatars, screaming obscene words, can be quite uncomfortable. I tried to avoid them by leaving the area, but within minutes I had one of the harassers find me and point his aides in junior high school towards me. After this cycle was repeated several times, I lost my composure and logged off thinking, “How can a woman enjoy this?” At that time, I learned what harassment in the Metaverse looks like.

 

What the metaverse means for the future of dating

Becca Monaghan
Indy100
April 16th, 2022

Fifty years ago, people would have laughed if you told them it would soon be possible to find love through a screen. The same way Bill Gates was judged when he first introduced the concept of the internet to the world. People believed it was a fad.

Fast forward to 2022, and online dating has become so ubiquitous that it’s done a 360 on older, more dated routes. It was the 21st century’s radical breakthrough deep-rooted in traditional courtship.

While the concept was initially stigmatised – likely to be down to the fear of the unknown – dating apps and social media now hold the key to 80 per cent of the modern dating scene. It’s almost become a rarity for someone to have met their beau organically, whether that be in a bar, at work, at church or through mutual friends.

Planet Theta Partners With Ritestream To Screen Films In The Dating Metaverse

Luke Smith
Global Dating Insights
April 7th, 2022

Ritestream, the NFT film funding platform, has announced a partnership with Planet Theta, the world’s first virtual reality dating app, to show films and build lasting relationships in the Metaverse. The partnership enables couples to date and socialise from the comfort of their own home, utilising Oculus and Steam VR headsets. Weeks’ worth of butterfly inducing first dates can now be fit in to the space of a few hours.

In addition to strolling through enchanted forests, visiting art galleries, or having a coffee over a game of cards, Planet Theta users will now be able to sit back and enjoy a movie from ritestream’s extensive bank of content.

The average movie theatre ticket cost in the U.S. has increased by 11 percent over the last 5 years. The price hike has compounded a Covid-hit industry, contributing to an exodus of moviegoers deserting cinemas across the country, with ticket sales in the U.S. declining from 1.4 billion in 2009, to 498 million in 2021. As movie theatres urgently rethink their offering, virtual dating cinemas provide a unique experience to connect with likeminded members.

 
 

I Tried to Find a Date in the Metaverse

Ross Buchanan
Vice
March 21st, 2022

It’s hard to think of a concept that went from taboo to pretty much ubiquitous as fast as internet dating. These days, I genuinely can’t remember the last time I asked a couple how they met and they didn’t reply “Hinge”.

Recently, I took a trip into the metaverse to find out if it’s possible to have a fun night out and it was… distinctly average. Now I’d like to find out if the metaverse holds the key to the future of dating and, dare I say it, love in the 21st century.

A brief recap on what the metaverse actually is: Contrary to what some people might think, it’s not just one virtual world, but lots of smaller free-roaming worlds made by different developers with different concepts.

 
 

Dating in the metaverse? You need some ground rules to avoid the virtual replacing your reality

Luisa Tam
South China Morning Post
February 6th, 2022

When the Black Mirror episode “San Junipero” aired on Netflix back in 2016, the notion of falling in love within a simulated reality seemed far away – but certainly not impossible.

Six years on, our world has become more virtual than ever, as more people try VR-based dating experiences.

Planet Theta, due to launch later this year, will allow users to take part in a multisensory – albeit virtual – experience with other users.

All you need is a VR headset to access the platform. Whether it’s at the “Enchanted Forest” or “Aaron’s Bar”, the (meta) world is your oyster.

 

The Metaverse Is a $1 Trillion Revenue Opportunity. Here’s How to Invest

Frank Holmes
Forbes
December 20th, 2021

Here’s a somewhat plausible scenario of what I’m talking about: It’s the year 2026, and you’re about to go on a first date with someone you met on Planet Theta, a virtual reality (VR) dating platform set to launch next year.

You strap on a VR headset—perhaps one made by Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook—and because you want to make the best possible first impression, you dress your avatar in an Armani suit and pair of Ray-Ban non-fungible token (NFT) sunglasses that you purchased with Ether (ETH). After spending some time strolling through an enchanted forest, you and your date watch the latest Disney movie, projected against the wall of a magical castle.

If you thought online dating was weird, wait until you try metaverse dating

Webb Taylor Wright
B2 The Business of Business
December 10th, 2021

Picture this: you’re getting ready to meet someone for a first date —  psyching yourself up, maybe drinking coffee later in the day than most doctors would recommend. But tonight, you aren’t thinking about your wardrobe at all. In fact, you might even keep wearing the hoodie and sweatpants that you’ve been wearing since you popped out of bed that morning. 

Why? Because you’re not going to meet this attractive stranger in a swanky bar, where such attire would almost certainly hurt your romantic prospects. At least, you’re not going to meet them in a physical bar. Instead, you’ll be heading to a virtual bar, where hopefully some very real sparks will fly. Or maybe the two of you will stroll through a mythical (and entirely digital) forest landscape. In the metaverse, anything is possible. 

This sounds like science fiction (which, in fact, it literally is: the “metaverse,” both as a term and a concept, was coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash), but this brave new world of dating may be just around the corner. 

Welcome to the Tinderverse: Tinder's CEO talks metaverse, virtual currency

Elizabeth Culliford
Reuters
December 2nd, 2021

Dating app Tinder is exploring how to blur the boundaries between offline and online worlds, CEO Renate Nyborg said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.

The chief executive of the Match Group Inc-owned (MTCH.O) dating app cited the company’s newly launched Explore feature. Interactive events like “Swipe Nights” allow users to choose their own adventures and match with others based on their choices.

The company is testing in-app currency that daters will use to pay for premium services and receive it as rewards for good behavior on the app, she said.

Asked about the company’s plans around dating in the metaverse, Nyborg said: “From a Tinder perspective, we’ve been talking about a Tinderverse internally, which is more about blurring the boundaries between offline and online.”

The metaverse broadly refers to the idea of shared virtual spaces that people can access through different devices and where they can move through digital environments. These spaces may use virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality

The GDI Podcast: VR Platform ‘Planet Theta’ Represents The Future Of Dating!

Dominic Whitlock
Global Dating Insights
November 3rd, 2021

Over the past two years, the popularity of virtual and video dating has grown exponentially, with the implication of the COVID-19 as the main catalyst.

While singles were previously unsure about having video calls with an almost complete stranger, they have become an integral part of the dating journey. Experts now say that VR and AR will be the next step in streamlining the process.

Planet Theta hopes to be the first VR dating platform and is currently in the middle of its beta testing phase. Produced by FireFlare Games, an independent VR development studio, Planet Theta is a whole new world where users can go on dates in bars and outdoor environments, as well as hang out in their own customisable environment.

Virtual dating is about to rise to the next level with this virtual reality app

Marion Brockway
Free Game Guide
October 26th, 2021

The first date tends to be a pivotal moment for a relationship: the beginning of a love story or an awkward moment that should never be repeated. For app developer Chris Crew, most of his initial dates were dire, although he had met his partner, Aurora Townsend, on Tinder for two years, which is why they both decided to develop an app to soothe that feeling.

  • What is metaverse? Learn more about the futuristic reality that is already among us

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The Metaverse: brave new worlds or an endless virtual mall?

Harry Menear
MOBILE MAGAZILE
October 20, 2021

Harry Menear does a great job explaining how the metaverse is “having a real moment right now.” The metaverse is now beginning to focus on VR dating as can be seen with the creation of Planet Theta. Menear suggest Planet Theta is a “metaverse of love” and that “people can meet, chat, and maybe even fall in love”. Menear suggests that people on Tinder are “hungry for something to make it better” and that Planet Theta is “the first VR metaverse explicitly for online dating”. Menear concludes with a cautionary discussion about the commercialization of the metaverse and how it “will be even more fertile ground for tech companies to harvest consumer data”.

VR Dating: Ready for dating in the metaverse world?​

Daniel Levi
TECH STARTUPS
OCTOBER 19, 2021

Daniel Levi does a good job explaining how the term metaverse was coined and what it means today. Levi goes on to explain that “Planet Theta’s focus on VR dating may actually be the cheat code” needed to “realize Zuckerberg’s Metaverse.” Levi argues that Planet Theta will “give millions of people around the world their first compelling reason to access the metaverse.” Throughout the article, Levi compares Match at the beginning of the internet to Planet Theta today.

Virtual dating soon a reality with new app

Liz Hobday
AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
Daily Mail (UK)
1st October 2021 

Liz Hobday does a great job introducing virtual reality dating as a concept to a mainstream audience. She briefly explains many of the advantages that VR dating has over online and traditional dating including being more “convenient” and facing less “rejection”. The focus of the article is how FireFlare Games is making the “first virtual reality program dedicated to dating” called Planet Theta. Planet Theta offers people the ability to “meet up in virtual nightclubs”, beaches, or cafes and can use the app to choose to meet “others who live in the same area or elsewhere in the world.”

Dating in VR

Jonathan Collins
FORETELL REALITY
7th December 2020

Jonathan Collins does a solid job explaining how “stay at home orders and rules of social distancing” have made dating difficult. The author goes on to suggest that VR offers “a technological” solution that “actually allows people” to go on dates. Collins goes through a number of related topics including a couple recently married in VR, dating coaches, and even “VR Therapy” to help with “mental health issues”.

How Virtual Reality Could Change the Way We Date

Liesel Sharabi Ph.D.
Psychology Today
9th July 2021

Dr. Sharabi explains how VR dating has advantages that can make it preferable to online dating and “many face-to-face meetings”. Sharabi looks at a 2015 report by Imperial College Business School and eHarmony UK that suggested that increasing data transfer rates would “make virtual reality dating a possibility”. Another study Dr. Sharabi included by Frost showed that “virtual dates” revealed more about people than online dating profiles. A concept called “excitation transfer” may cause people in VR to be more attractive than in person. Dr. Sharabi also looks at a writing considering the possibility VR date coaching.

Post-Lockdown Changes: Is Online Dating Using VR And AR A New Way To Go?

The author explains how in 2020, mainly due to the pandemic, there had been a global shift in dating. Out of fear of meeting new people generally, “people began spending more time talking and getting to know each other, being cautious, and not pressured into meeting up ASAP”. The author does a good job explaining how this greater reliance on online dating has opened the door for a more immersive technology. The author explains that “virtual reality technology and online dating are a match made in heaven” because you are able to get a sense who someone is on a VR date “without meeting them physically”. The author explains the limitless possibilities for a virtual date. People can take each other anywhere they want to go, including “a foreign country or another planet”.

How You Can Now Use VR To Date Online In A Lockdown World

Edward Lauder

SMALL SCREEN

24th November 2020

Edward Lauder outlines a number of good “benefits” to using VR for dating. These include being able to go to “exotic spots” without having to travel there and “saving time” and “money” meeting people and going on dates. Some of the article is spent giving advice to readers on how best to setup a VR dating profile, including highlighting “what you are seeking and your interests”.

Does VR Dating increase prospects of real life hook-ups?

News Desk
The Siasat Daily
28th July 2020

The authors review a groundbreaking study by the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-H) regarding the effectiveness of dating in virtual reality. The study included 30 people (15 male and 15 female) university students that compared interacting through Tinder to a customized version of RecRoom. The study found that VR was better than “Tinder in terms of gauging potential of an emerging relationship or an overall dating experience.” 28 out of the 30 respondents “felt that VR” allowed them to make an “informed decision” about whether to meet someone in person. Some people who did not match well after chatting on Tinder found each other to be “potential date material after the VR meet”.

Move Over Online Dating! Virtual Reality Is The Future Of Finding Love

Sol Rogers
Forbes
20th September 2019

Sol Rogers does a great job explaining what VR dating is and how much more of a connection one can make through virtual dating, compared to online dating. “A VR date should be a more intense and personal experience than online dating.” He points out many of the advantages including the “ability to engage users through multiple senses” and being able to do so “from the safety of your own space”. This article is a great read for anyone who is interested in VR dating or is a virtual reality enthusiast.

Is Virtual Reality the Future of Online Dating?

Stanley & Morph
Charlotte Stories
13 May 2019

The author does a good job explaining how VR may “transform that dating experience” as “experts are trying to combine online dating and virtual reality”. This author seems to be a strong advocate for the strength and advantages of VR dating over online dating and explain how it can be used to “heartbreak” and “embarrassment”, among other benefits. The author cites another story that suggests “Virtual Reality can change” the concept of online dating. One example the author touches on is a VR dating coach app called the Girlfriend Activation System.

Virtual reality dating: What's it like to take someone out online?

Dave Evans Bailey does a great job explaining how virtual reality is soon to come to dating and will likely rival the current poplar apps, including Tinder. “Unlike chatting with someone on Tinder but never meeting up, it could feel very, very real” to go on a VR date. The author does a good job of showing the breadth of new developments related to VR dating including Facebook’s show called Virtually Dating, an app providing immersive dating lessons, and an app that allows men to marry their favourite anime character in VR. 

 

Virtual Reality Dating – How Would This Work?

Alex (News Writer)
Virtual Living
November 13, 2017

This author explores the parallels between online dating and VR dating and suggests that although there are no “dedicated virtual reality dating applications on the market right now, it’s sure there will be some soon.” Many of the pitfalls and issues with online dating are discussed including that 53% of people lie on their online dating profile and that there are some significant “dangers” involved with meeting someone in person after connecting through traditional dating apps. Many of the successes of online dating are discussed as well, including that Tinder claims responsibility for over “11 billion matches”. 

I went on a date in space. It was a little weird

Samantha Rhodes 
CNET
14th February 2017

Samantha Rhodes gives a terrific description of going on a VR date through a social app called vtime. The author goes on to explain how much dating has changed since when “couples met through family friends at their church or synagogue or by the water cooler at work”. But that today, “more than 90 percent of America’s singles have tried online dating”. Although the author gives a mixed review of her personal experience VR dating, she cites a 2015 eharmony study suggesting that her experience VR dating may be “a window into the future”.

VR Online Dating: The New Safe Sex

Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
May 2016

Brenda K. Wiederhold expertly discusses many of the issues surrounding virtual reality dating. The author explains the “psychological basis” behind the need to “meet in-person” with someone met through online dating before “pursuing a romantic relationship”.  VR dating can resolve this “by creating intimacy without requiring awkward or unsafe in-person meetings”. In addition, the author takes on the issue of “Catfishing” suggesting it could become a problem but also suggesting that with this new technology, “real attraction would become more difficult to fake.”

VIRTUAL REALITY DATING WILL STREAMLINE ROMANCE WHEN SOMEONE FINALLY INVESTS

YASMIN TAYAG
INVERSE
13 December 2015

Yasmin Tayag does a really great job explaining the biggest issues with online dating and how virtual reality could be solution. Phone apps like “OkCupid and Tinder may have made finding a date easy, but the dates themselves can still be an unbearable waste of time.” The author quotes Paul Hollywood from vTime saying “VR can create intimacy without requiring potentially awkward or even unsafe in-person interactions” by making “assessing chemistry a lot less painless”. The author concludes that the public is ready for VR dating, citing a survey and an eharmony industry analysis.

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