A startup called Mingleton is introducing a new mobile dating application that uses iBeacon technology to help you connect only with people you can see around you, or, as one of the founders puts it, it’s like Tinder “for the people in your immediate vicinity.” The app doesn’t actually require venues to have iBeacon or Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) devices installed in order for this to work, to be clear, but rather leverages Core Bluetooth and Core Location technology in the iPhone itself to help its users find one another out the real world.
It’s not exactly a novel idea, though it looks like Mingleton may be beating Tinder to market with the technology. Last fall, Tinder founder Sean Rad said his company was “maybe” looking into building something similar, designed to connect people in the same room, so to speak. “We want to make sure that if you’re in an area – at a venue, a bar, a club, TechCrunch Disrupt – the people you want to see…will surface on a map,” he said at the time, hinting that there was different technology that would facilitate those types of connections.
Today, Tinder uses GPS for its nearby features, but one could imagine the possibilities of using BLE as a way of finding people in super close proximity. In fact, someone already did –a reporter at Wired had speculated on this before.