The Pocket PC version of the Love Detector allows you to take it to bars, night clubs, or any other dating scene and test romantic potentials.
PHOTO BY RON LAYTNER, EDIT INTERNATIONAL
By Lance Laytner
An Israeli military scientist working to help save lives in the Middle East Conflict may have finally brought peace to an even older power struggle – the Battle of the Sexes.
Amir Lieberman invented a technology called Layered Voice Analysis (VLA), also known as Sense Technology, which surpasses the polygraph Lie Detector in that it not only measures whether or not the test subject is telling the truth, but actually detects and measures their emotions. The Israelis use the technology to uncover hate in the hearts of terrorism suspects.
But, Lieberman has now licensed the Sense Technology to an American company, V-Entertaiment, which has used it to create ‘The LOVE Detector.’ The makers of the Love Detector promise that it can detect romantic attraction with 96% accuracy and back up their claim with a host of studies showing its effectiveness.
The Love Detector works by measuring fluctuations in the voice of a speaker that betray their emotions. The security version of the technology measures 129 parameters of emotion as well as whether the speaker is telling the truth or lying and is being licensed to governments and intelligence agencies by the Israeli company Nemesyco.
The civilian Love Detector is a bit simpler measuring only 5 of the 129 parameters. V-Entertainment explains that it is far easier to sense emotion without having to measure whether the subject is lying. “The stresses you are under when you are being deceptive and the stresses you are under when you are feeling excited about somebody are very different,” explains Nicole.
The five parameters measured by the Love Detector include embarrassment, anxiety, concentration, anticipation, and excitement. From those five readings the software interprets whether or not the subject is feeling lustful towards the person they are speaking with.
The Love Detector software comes in a PC version that can be hooked up to a telephone and in a Pocket PC version that turns your PDA into a portable lust meter. With the mobile unit you can even leave the Love Detector on in your jacket pocket or sitting on the table and discretely read the results.
“You talk to the person and the report comes up at the end of the conversation,” explains effusive 22-year old spokesperson, Nicole Graham. “It shows the ‘Love Level’ which gives you a number from -10 all the way up to 50. Negative ten means ‘absolutely not interested’ and fifty is ‘Wow, Red Hot!’”
There is also a simple display showing a cartoon-like Daisy flower that starts out perky and full but loses its petals and droops if no attraction is detected. If the flower is naked by the end of the conversation there is little chance you will be later on. But if the flower stays erect you should too.
“I definitely use it on a first date,” confesses Nicole. “Even if you just compare each of your petals. Like, I got three petals out of you, but you only got two petals out of me!”
But beware, the Love Detector does not lie and can easily expose your true feelings. “We took it to a restaurant and tested a couple who had been dating for a month or two. The girl was very excited about it, she wanted to use it on her boyfriend,” explains Nicole. “They did, and he got in trouble because she felt he didn’t really like her enough.”
Don’t worry bored husbands. The Love Detector doesn’t work for long-standing relationships like marriage. “The technology only measures the ‘butterfly in the stomach’ emotions one gets in the early stages of a romantic relationship,” explains Nicole. “You can always say, ‘Sorry honey, we’re married’.”
But over protective parents can now test their child’s dates with the precision of a CIA operative. “My cousin is fifteen and her boyfriend is 18 years old,” relates Nicole. “We were worried about her getting hurt because she seems to really like this guy. So, at our last family get-together I brought the Pocket PC version with me and we tested them. Their embarrassment readings were through the roof. But, it turns out that her boyfriend actually likes her a lot more than she likes him. So, that made us feel a bit better.”
The Love Detector is also quickly becoming the newest romantic game. “People have been having parties with it,” says Nicole. “It is a great ice-breaker and is a whole lot more accurate than ‘Spin the Bottle’.”
Another good time is to play love detective and search for hidden romances. “My co-worker, Vicki, likes to take it around and test everyone in the company at trade shows,” laughs Nicole. “She terrorizes everyone with the Love Detector trying to find inter-office romances.”
But sometimes it works out well despite the embarrassment. Ellie Ruth of Ruder Finn, the company promoting the Love Detector, is now in a serious relationship thanks to the Love Detector. “At a product launch they tested me and this consultant I had been working with. The petals on the flower grew and we have since started a budding romance. It was nice to feel secure that this person is attracted to you. It made me more bold in pursuing him because I knew his emotions.”
“It is a time saving device because you don’t have to mess around with people who are not really interested in you,” adds Nicole. “It is a good way to sort of give yourself the one up. We like to look at this technology as an added edge in deciphering the dating game.”
If you decide you want to try the Love Detector for yourself you can order either the PC Software or Pocket PC version on the web. The PC software will cost you $50 USD and the Pocket PC is less expensive at about $20 USD.
V-Entertaiment is also offering a cellular phone service called “Mad-Love” in which you can call their operator (*69 068-696969), log into their system, and then make a three-way call to test your romantic interest. At the end of the call the operator will tell you the results. Prices vary depending on call length but so far you have to dial Israel in order to connect to the service.
With Love Detectors in hand it may be that the computer nerds will conquer the bar room just as they did the board room. V-Entertainment is hoping that the Love Detector will take all the guess work out of romance and turn love into risk free science.
And they don’t intend to stop there. The ambitious company is hoping to put ‘lie detector’ and ‘emotion detector’ Sense Technology into a whole host of new products. “You can put this technology into anything and make it better,” says Nicole.
“We want to put it into high-tech refrigerators. You will tell your refrigerator you want a recipe for tonight and based on your mood it detects from your voice it will make recipe suggestions. ‘Go ahead and have the pasta, you need it!’” Dieters will also have the option of being warned that they are comfort eating before they go for the ice-cream.
Another product V-Entertainment hopes will benefit from Sense Technology is Sony’s robotic dog, Aibo, who has been described as “cute but not cuddly” by reviewers. We can help says Nicole Graham, “We put this technology into it and when the dog runs up to you and you say ‘go away’ or ‘sit’ it will detect whether you are in a playful mood, whether you need to be cheered up, or whether it should just run and hide under the bed.”
But perhaps the most exciting product planned for release by V-Entertainment is a pair of sunglasses that promise x-ray vision into your lover’s heart. The Love Glasses will combine designer sunglasses with a tiny Love Detector that will flash light on the inside of the glasses if attraction is detected. Looking for love has never been so literal.
But not everyone is in favor of changing the rules of romance. Says Michelle Rousseau, 27, “I don’t know if I want a guy monitoring my emotions like I am hooked up to some machine. I think it is an invasion of privacy.”
But Nicole Graham laughs away the criticism. “We are not talking about a matter of national security here. This is a Love Detector. It is fun, its entertainment, but is also very accurate.”
Whether or not the Love Detector will be successful at turning the dating game into a video game remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – an ‘electric attraction’ will never mean quite the same thing again.