Lovegety: proximity-based matchmaking

Doing some research for my book project about locative media, i was curious about early version of proximity-based interactions. The Lovegety was an interesting primer, especially given that it was a real product. They actually shipped more than 350,000 of them in two and half months after the release in 1998.

For those who do not remember it, the Lovegetty was a japanese wireless-based matchmaking device made of three buttons that users could set according to their activity (talk/karaoke/get2, a sort of wildcard). Yukari Iwatani describes the matchmaking system as follows:

"Once the holder selects a mode, the device searches for Lovegety holders of the opposite sex in a five meter radius. If it locates a holder with the same mode, the "get" light flashes and the device beeps, so the pair can find each other. If there is a holder in the vicinity with a different mode, then the "find" light flashes and a different sound goes off, alerting the user of a near get."

Why do I blog this? not sure if the thing is still available but it's interesting to see some primary forms of technology-based matchmaking device (that was followed by the toothing hoax). Of course I am skeptical by the usage as well as the weird matchmaking algorithm, but the device is curious enough to be mentioned.