Flirting entered the 21st century today with the launch of Winnipeg-based Tipping Canoe’s new mobile application, Flurt. With location-based applications surging in popularity and many people viewing their digital presence as an extension of themselves, Flurt helps avoid the awkwardness of a traditional pickup line by sending an anonymous flirt instead.
“Flurt is the digital version of passing notes during class or approaching someone at a bar,” said co-developer Varun Mehra, a 25-year-old computer science graduate from the University of Manitoba. “Flirting is an instinctual behaviour of verbal and physical cues, and this mobile app provides a new dimension to the art of flirtation.”
With 2011 being billed as the year smartphones become mainstream, the International Data Corporation reports that the global smartphone market is expected to grow four times faster than the overall mobile phone market as customers switch from basic cell phones to devices that can download apps and connect to the Internet. According to IDC Canada, more than 50 per cent of smartphones in Canadians’ hands are Android phones or iPhones.
Once Android and iPhone users download the Flurt app, they can send anonymous flurts to anyone in their current location and see all flurts sent by others within 150 metres. As Flurt is a public application, anyone can be flirted with whether they have the app or not. However, to view or respond to a flurt, the mobile app needs to be installed.
“Flirting is universal and we’ve all been in situations where we wanted to compliment or flirt with someone, but have been shy,” said Jeff Friesen, 23, Flurt app developer. “For us, it was a logical leap to create a way for people to make that first introduction more easily and reduce the risk of something we all cringe at – embarrassment or rejection.”