Dates in the future may not happen in coffee shops — instead, you might just sit in your living room with a virtual reality headset, according to a recent report from Imperial College London and eHarmony.
Released in late 2015, the report predicts how relationships will change over the next 25 years (and discusses how they've already changed in recent years) using eHarmony's user data; historical accounts; and interviews with anthropology, technology, and biomedicine experts.
"People want to be matched — and ultimately form relationships with — like-minded people in the most efficient way possible," eHarmony's UK director Romain Betrand tells Business Insider. "What’s different is how people will go about it, redefined by advances in science and everyday consumer technology."
Here's how dating and relationships could look by 2040.
Dates in virtual reality.
Forget swiping right on Tinder — dates in VR could make things a whole lot easier.
In 2016, people have already popped the question in VR. By 2040, you may be able to hold someone's hand before you actually "meet" them IRL, according to the report.
With new VR technology, we might not only be able to see and hear other people, but touch and smell them too.
"Nobody would be really too far away to have a relationship with," Betrand says. "It would be like your partner is in the room with you when you want them around."
The ability to see how our partners feel.
In the future, we may be able to physically see a person's emotions, the report says.
New Deal Design, the designers behind Fitbit's trackers, are working to create a "tattoo" embedded under the skin that visualizes health and emotions.
When someone touches or feels something, the tattoo, called UnderSkin, will glow a personalized pattern. For example, when a person holds their partner's hand, the tattoo may glow in the shape of a pentagon to express love.
The designers believe they could build UnderSkin by 2021.
Relationships with robots.
When we're feeling introverted, we could one day turn to robots instead of humans.
Interacting with a robot, rather than a partner, could create less emotional pressure, says managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics Andrea Keay. By 2029, the report predicts we could have two soul mates: one human and one robot.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider