There’s always room for love, especially on the World Wide Web. And this Valentine’s season, we bring to you two matchmaking and dating apps that you might want to check out this weekend.
A match for all
According to the United Nations, India has a population of eight crore people with disability. And of that only five per cent, or less, manage to find a partner. But change is in the offing, as Kalyani Khona and Shankar Srinivasan have launched their matchmaking app called IncLov. Designed specifically for those who are differently-abled, or suffering from health disorders, this app seems to have a ‘no discrimination’ policy. But it’s not limited to just those with disability; the app has also seen sign-ups from divorcees, widows, or even those who are fit as a fiddle. This Android app, which has had more than 1,000 registrations since its launch on January 21, connects people on the basis of location, disability type, lifestyle choices, etc. To make the platform “inclusive”, it has been integrated with screen reader and talkback (for visually-impaired members), options to magnify fonts, or change colours (for people with retinal disorders and colour blindness), among others. In the future, they intend to add a video call feature for people with speech disability, says 23-year-old Khona, who is also assisting Indian government with its ‘Accessible India’ campaign. The duo plans to add Hindi, Bengali and Tamil to its menu as well.
IncLov is an online avatar of Khona’s matchmaking boutique agency in Mumbai, Wanted Umbrella. She ran a crowd funding campaign for the app last year, and raised `6.5 lakh to set the ball rolling.
‘MateriaLove’ is not the sort of name you expect a dating app to have. But there’s good reason why its founder Prateek Bhardwaj coined it. He’s trying to boost the scene of dating and e-commerce mutually, and organically. The 24-year-old mobile app developer explains: “I had signed up on Tinder, and I realised people would chat with their ‘matches’ online, but seldom meet in person. This is what MateriaLove is working at — to encourage people to meet, or go out on dates, at restaurants or at the movies by partnering with other geolocation apps.”
Bhardwaj, therefore, refers to MateriaLove as a hybrid of socialising and e-commerce apps. You can download it from Play Store, and log in with your Facebook account. You will find recommended matches (called connects) to choose from. The drill is Tinder-like — swipe right or left. They call it hunting, and has a cupid as its icon. Once two people like each other mutually, they can start chatting (or, cooking, represented by a fork and spoon on either side of a heart).
And if you wish to ask him/her out on a date, you can book a cab, a restaurant, or movie outing. You can also order gifts. There’s more. Every time, you book a restaurant or order a meal, you have the option of sponsoring a meal for an underprivileged person through its FeedTheHungry feature. Now that’s a good gesture!