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New mobile app takes dating to another level

WHO NEEDS LIQUID courage when you can have Electric Courage, a new mobile flirting app that promises to take people from “shy to fly” at nightclubs or bars, allowing users to easily introduce themselves to people they find attractive.

All of the flirting and introductions are done electronically through Electric Courage’s “flirt wall.” According to Duncan Bays, one of its four co-founders, the social app gives you confidence and allows you flirt with someone at the same place as you—but online.

“Have you ever exchanged glances with someone, [but] instead of walking up to the person and introducing yourself, you didn’t?” says Bays. “Maybe it was because you just weren’t feeling quite confident, or maybe it was because you’re away talking with your friends or they were talking with their friends. [This] is what [Electric Courage] is trying to solve. We’re trying to make it so you do have that chance to make the connection.”

The application, which is available for iPhones, BlackBerrys, and Androids, functions similar to other dating apps except that it allows you to reach out to someone in real time and have the other person read for “flirts”—an text-based post similar to tweets—that may describe them on a wall.

“Say you’re at a bar or an event,” explains Bays. “What you can do is pull up the app, log into Electric Courage, check into your location, [and then] throw out a free ‘flirt’ to the person you think you had a moment with, as well as a small description.”

The app, inspired by one of its founder’s own missed connections, is aimed at giving people who are hesitant or shy a platform to spark conversation with someone they’re interested in. Even though the app seems like another social dating application or website, Bays believes they both have different functions.

“The vast majority of mobile dating websites and apps are profile based. So [you say what] you’re looking for, [whether it’s] a specific gender, a specific age, a specific hair colour, and then what you do is scroll through a bunch of photos,” he says, explaining that the app is all about location.

“Our app is the opposite—it’s entirely location based. So you’ll be flirting with someone you’ve met in the same location with you and who you’ve already had a moment with in person.”

Electric Courage can also be used by people who don’t frequent nightclubs or bars. You can check into a location anywhere and start a flirt from there.

Some people might be reluctant start a conversation with someone through this app, especially if they’re not willing to introduce themselves in person, but Electric Courage is trying to connect people who normally would have never met.

“Everyone says, ‘Why would I want to meet someone who doesn’t have the courage to walk up to me and say hi to me right away?’ But the fact of the matter is 90 per cent of the time people don’t,” says Bays.

Safety is a big concern with social media, online dating, and social apps. According to Bays, Electric Courage is safe for anyone to use.

“If they’re flirting with you through the flirt wall [but] you’re not interested, then you don’t reply. So that way you’re far more comfortable and in control and it’s much safer than giving out your Facebook information or your phone number.”

Electric Courage doesn’t attempt to replace live, face-to-face dating. It all comes down to sparking that first connection. After that, Electric Courage isn’t needed anymore.

“That’s kind of when the app’s done its job,” says Bays. “After that, it’s obviously all face time and just chatting in person. We’re not trying to replace face time—we’re just trying to make that part happen.”

—Sofia Hashi