Is that a Lovegety in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?; TAMAGOTCHIS THAT FIND A DATE.
THE Lovegety is already responsible for five weddings in Japan and is set to sweep the UK. CHARLOTTE KEMP puts the Tamagotchi-sized matchmaker to the test.
THROW out the love poems, cancel the lonely hearts ad and find your date with the push of a button.
With the help of a Lovegety - Japan's pocket-sized, electronic Cupid - the partner of your dreams is just a radio signal away if they have one too.
They come in pink for girls and blue for boys and there are three modes, depending on whether you want a flirty chat, a date or in-at-the-deep- end romance.
I set mine to "chat" and set off to seek out another Lovegety.
This wouldn't be so hard if I was in Japan where 350,000 have been sold since the launch in February.
But it's still early days here so The Mirror ran this test by distributing a few among likely Guinea pigs in an east London pub.
I didn't have to go far before I got a bleep and a green light. Someone had locked on to me as I stood at the bar of the Cat and Canary in Docklands.
I scanned every bloke within the Lovegety's 15-foot range. And my anxious searching gave me away. With a cry of "I've pulled" a bloke wielding a flashing green gadget cornered me.
He introduced himself as 28-year-old facilities manager Dave Goulding.
"It's quite lucky the Lovegety doesn't include a 'not available' mode," he chuckled.
"This definitely beats my one chat-up line as an icebreaker.
"If I was in a room full of people with Lovegetys, I would make a beeline for the prettiest girl and hope her green light was flashing too."
Well at least it worked. I wanted a chat and I got one. But after discussing the delights of facilities managing I made my excuses and left.
After powdering my nose and checking my battery, I found a seat and waited for another contact signal.
I didn't wait long. And the signals I got were after more than chat.
Men can be so obvious sometimes - they'd all programmed their Lovegetys for the "get romantically involved" mode.
"Well, you might as well go for the jugular," said Tony Knife, 27, a computer programmer.
But Tony, who is single and on the lookout for a date, wasn't sure if he would rely on a Lovegety for his match.
"It's fun but I would feel quite sad carrying one of these around. When I go out on the pull, I prefer to rely on good old chat-up lines."
His colleague Greg Catton, 28, was more worried about what his girlfriend might think.
"She wouldn't be very pleased if she knew my green light was flashing," he said and hit the Off button.
At pounds 29.95, the search for a true love doesn't come cheap, but they are the perfect icebreaker.
For those who just can't wait, the Lovegety Hotline is 0800 731 8933. Happy hunting.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 10, 1998|
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