CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Skype yourself a new lover in five minutes

Skyecandy is a start-up that is beta testing a new video speed dating service over Skype. Yes, you too can save money while you chat to someone you don't know in total safety.

I have never speed dated.

Although there are many people who wish I had. Mainly those for whom more than five minutes with me was akin to chewing asparagus stalks for three weeks.

So I am delighted to be able to relay to you that an enterprising, if strangely anonymous, woman in Australia has come up with a practical idea that might encourage you to hurry love.

It's called Skyecandy.

The concept, currently in beta testing, is that you allow strangers five minutes of your valuable video time to realize just how much they are missing true amorous conflagration. Or, at least, videoconferencing.

I must admit I am fascinated by this. Skyecandy is frightfully free and it seems to offer a marvelous opportunity to meet someone stimulating without having to buy them a drink. Or dinner. Or flowers. Or the collected works of JK Rowling.

Doesn't this picture make you want to Skyecandy right now? CC KJunstorm/Flickr

I am told by those who have partaken of dating sites once too often that the greatest disappointment is when you finally meet the person to whom you have sent idyllic e-mails, dedicated lovingly rehearsed phone calls, and perhaps even sent a second-hand rose or two.

They don't look the same as their pictures. They're fatter, older, and hairier. (The men and the women.)

So with Skyecandy you get some sense of whether your potential intended intends to clean up their nasal passages at least once every six months.

Skyecandy seems to believe that women will be particularly attracted to the security (and, perhaps, the stunning free-ness) of the service. Although I'm not so sure how they might feel when the man they have rejected after one five-minute video call happens to be seated in a bar next to them as they twirl their third martini, alone. Relieved, one hopes.

I also wonder whether, during these video calls, you can ask the person at the other end to stand up and twirl around.

This world has become so venal, so carnal, that physical attributes still outweigh all the sensible ones that you know you'll need in order to tolerate someone for more than a night or two.

Perhaps one of you out there could let me know.

You see, if you would like to be one of the guinea piglets who are seeking to have their house blown down by the love of their lives in five eternal minutes, all you have to do is go to Skype Extras.

I want to know how you get on. I want to know if you really can find love through technology without filling in a thousand question survey and without offering yourself up for genetic testing.

I believe in true love, you see. I believe that someone can have you at hello. As long as they can say something more interesting in the following four minutes and 59 seconds, of course.