by Emma Clarke

New appOnce upon a time, not many years ago, there was an Italian computer science student named Enrico Vecchio. On his travels he came across a beautiful lady on the Milan Metro. Enrico, being shy, found that he was unable to talk to the fair maiden. So he, along with Carlo Banfi and Dino Ricceri, wished for an app which would allow him to contact his crush, and so CityGlance was born.

In big cities, you meet dozens of people every day but everyone is too consumed in their iPods and Kindles to notice. So why not embrace the advantages that technology has over old-fashioned wooing? Indeed, ask any Londoner about eye-contact on the tube and they’ll confirm that it’s forbidden. It’s much better to keep your eyes on your phone and accept to be contacted via the internet.

But alas the path of true love did never run smooth – especially for timid, smart phone addicts it seems. Forget enchanted forests, Prince Charming might find it difficult to find his princess during the rush hour. Also, on the London underground, the fact that there isn’t much phone signal may be a problem. Imagine you spy the man/woman of your dreams and you may have to wait until you’ve left the carriage – it spoils the moment somewhat. Translating your business for foreign markets isn’t just a case of changing the language. It’s important to study the target market, only then can you localise your product.

How does it work? You sign up using your Facebook account. Then you enter your physical details, hair colour, height, etc. When you see someone who takes your fancy you post an update specifying a particular metro line, e.g. “I’m looking for the five foot blonde bombshell who takes the Northern Line at 8:30am.” The app will soon be available for both apple and android devices and the service is expanding from Milan to London and New York City. The system has the potential to be expanded to any transport network globally.

Don’t despair if your crush doesn’t already have a CityGlance account. All the information is kept on a database so that when they do sign up they will be able to find the relevant notification.

Is it dangerous? Similarly to Foursquare, only friends can see your movements. Even if you aren’t single the app will allow for more spontaneous catch ups with friends or perhaps make new ones! However the app is used, let’s just hope that it brings some magic to the London underground this Valentine’s Day and allows commuters to live happily ever after.

Does this app appeal to you? Is romance dead or just digital?

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