Love Detector device: can it help you find love?

At a bar in downtown Tel Aviv, people are “speed dating”—trying to find a love match within minutes. But how do you know when you’ve clicked with that special person? And, how do you know the feeling is mutual?

It’s the 21st century, and some believe modern technology has the answer. Amir Liberman, the CEO of Nemesysco, based in Netanya, Israel, says his company has the perfect device, called the Love Detector.

“The Love Detector will show on the screen signs of attraction, signs of, let’s call it the butterflies, … how happy the other person is to speak with you,” he says.

Nemesysco specializes in voice detection systems, mostly for security purposes to detect criminal intent. The Love Detector started off as a joke, but was developed into a software that detects emotion—and through that, attraction—via people’s voices.

When two people speak into the software—either through Internet telephony or by phone—the Love Detector analyses a regular conversation and spots excitement and arousal—or the lack thereof—to let you know if you should pursue further. It measures different parameters and then supplies the user with a report detailing its findings. If there is a match, a flower on the program will fill up with petals.

Psychologist Iris Solomon says it could be a useful tool for anyone who isn’t sure they can pick up on a connection. “Sometimes in speed dating, or on a blind date, people don’t know. Is there a match? Does she fit? Does he fit? Is he interested? Is she interested? A tool like this can be a backup to one’s own feelings.”

Regardless of whether it can detect a connection, Salomon says the Love Detector is a good ice breaker, helping people to start a conversation.

But at the Tel Aviv bar’s speed dating event, not everyone was convinced the device is the way forward.

Revital Solomon and Motty Houli, for example, spent seven minutes on this speed date. The Love Detector showed there was something of a connection. And Revital agreed. “It helps you. It helps that, well, if the machine is right, maybe I should give it a try. Why not?” she says.

But her date wasn’t so sure. “I guess I’m more superficial than the Love Detector. I guess she was very nice and we hit it off I guess mentally, but she’s not my type,” says Houli.

The device raises more questions about the role of technology in finding love. Internet dating is already a common way to find a match, but some may be uncomfortable with a machine determining a match. One thing the Love Detector may not pick up on is physical attraction.

“I think a machine is kind of giving you a false image, false perception of what it really is. How so? Well I think that, you know, you can never tell if it’s right or wrong… I suppose you kind of trust or put your faith in a machine. If the machine tells you it’s right and you want to believe in it, then you’ll believe in it,” says Jonny Eshel, a Tel Aviv resident.

His friend, Michelle Leigh, agrees the machine could be somewhat intrusive. “That is not natural. Like… you speak to people and you know the person. You don’t need all this,” says Leigh.

Others were more optimistic. “I think it would save a lot of time doing a lot of wasted interviewing,” says Nina Lemansky, sitting with her boyfriend at a Tel Aviv bar.

But, whether the Love Detector works or not, the feeling you get when you click with someone is undeniable. And couples know there’s nothing like the real thing.—AP