Can IoT Help Dictate How We Find Love in the Near Future?

By Mark Stone, Contributor

When you think of the Internet of Things (IoT), finding your soulmate probably doesn’t come to mind. Sure, using dating services on your smartphone seems normal today, but what if smart devices like your fridge or TV could provide insight into why you may be the perfect match for that special someone? And what if smart devices of the future — like a smart shower — could supply similar data to romantic matching algorithms?

According to an eHarmony Future of Dating report, your wearable tech and smart home devices can have a tremendous impact on the information you share in hopes of finding true love — whether you like it or not.

In fact, the data captured by all your smart devices may reveal more of the “real you” than you think you know about yourself. For example, according to the eHarmony report, your “music preferences correlate with certain personality traits [and] can also shed light on energy levels and emotional state, allowing for matching with others who are in a complementary mood or stage in their lives.” With all this illuminating data, your choices for a rewarding romance become infinitely greater. “The more [dating services] get to know you, the stronger our predictions will be,” said Jonathan Beber, eHarmony’s research scientist and director of research and development.

We’re Already Oversharing

As IoT devices — and the data they share — become a reality, they must clear the hurdle of public acceptance. “If you have your entire house measuring things about you, to feed that into a big database, it will take people a bit of time to accept that level of comfort in sharing that data,” Beber said.

Although you may not be able to fathom the thought of sharing all that data, you may already relinquish more than you think. Social media companies like Facebook already have a plethora of info on each user and can also keep track of your online activity. Beber said that dating sites like eHarmony would leverage Facebook data more in the future, as this helps bolster the service’s personality profiles and improves matchmaking efforts.

“The more [dating services] get to know you, the stronger our predictions will be.”
— Jonathan Beber, Director of Research and Development, eHarmony

Methods Change, Motives Remain

If you’re worried about IoT’s role in data sharing, we’re still years away from devices like the smart shower. “With the way technology has been advancing in the last decade with IoT, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re looking at another 10 to 15 years,” Beber said.

Nevertheless, dating sites like eHarmony will always operate best with more information. And with advances in technology and data analytics, even old-school dates will have a futuristic touch — your smart contact lenses, for example, could let you know how well things are going. “If the contact notices that your date has a flushing of the face, it could be a good sign,” Beber explained. If you’ve seen the recent “Hang The DJ” episode of “Black Mirror,” you’ll know where things are heading.

These scenarios, according to Beber, will eventually be a reality and could represent a crucial piece of the online matchmaking puzzle. “We believe we need to look into anything and everything that could be helpful to our service,” he said. “It’s fun to speculate what the future of dating would be like.”