SAN MATEO, Calif. — A new online dating service believes you can determine the love of your life after a three-minute video chat.
Originally a project by a Stanford University business class, Speeddate.com combines online dating and round robin-style speed dating, where singles spend eight minutes or less interviewing potential matches.
The San Mateo-based company is scheduled to host its first event Thursday, with three-minute sessions for up to 100 people who live in the San Francisco Bay area. Individuals will meet at least 15 prospective partners in an hour.
"People go through the long process of filling out profiles and sending e-mails, maybe for weeks or months, and within two seconds of seeing the other person they realized they had no chemistry," co-founder Dan Abelon said. "We thought this would be a good solution."
Speeddate.com members provide only a few key details, including their sex and age; the desired sex and age of their partner; and their ZIP code. After logging in, they click through a series of Web pages featuring people who meet their criteria, connected via live video. The service is now free, though there might be a subscription fee in the future.
After each three-minute session, people click a box to indicate whether they want to interact again. If both say yes, Speeddate.com allows them to correspond through the site.
Other popular sites, such as Match.com, allow members to say much more about themselves and what they are seeking, including religion and annual salary.
Rivals say an hour on Speeddate.com might be more fun than watching TV reruns — but the notion that it could produce long-term partnerships is laughable.
"Physical attraction is a very poor predictor of long-term relationship satisfaction," said J. Galen Buckwalter, vice president of research and development at Pasadena-based eHarmony.com, which has 17 million registered users who fill out in-depth questionnaires. "If people are looking for matches with whom they can have a long-term relationship, they are well-advised not to focus solely on chemistry."
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