The Indiegogo page for a hypnosis-based smartwatch designed to help you “pick up girls” closed today after a month of crowdfunding – and it has not raised one solitary dollar.
The “Dating skills smartwatch” (or “Pick up girls smartwatch” – they can’t seem to decide on its actual name) is aimed squarely at straight dudes – specifically the type that have a signed copy of The Game – and promises to “program your brain” using subliminal messages that teach you how to “get girl’s attention and melts their hearts” [sic sic sic – there are so many errors on the page that we might just do one giant SIC for the whole thing. In both senses].
The watch supposedly plays “subliminal messages that your ear cannot hear but your brain does (below 20Hz)” while you listen to music. These somehow teach you to be more confident with women, deliver terrible chat-up lines and “take her home.” Creepery and pseudoscience. Sexy.
Not only this, but it also comes with cutesy watch faces that you can use to attract women. No, seriously!
On one of our watchfaces there are beautiful roses so you can show your watch to a girl and say: “I got these flowers for you”. Every girl likes to get flowers.
We also have a watchface of a cute kitten so you can say: “Do you want to see my kitten?”
“Every girl likes to get flowers.” Just like every girl loves to be approached by a weirdo in the street, waving his knockoff Apple Watch in her face with a low-res stock photo of some begonias. We should all adopt this technique immediately.
We have included a camera in the face of the watch so you can easily take her picture. And then you say: “Do you want me to send you your picture, give me your cell number”.
Take creepshots with your watch > get sex. Flawless plan.
We should probably mention at this point that it’s entirely possible this campaign was satire/a scam. It sounds a lot like something 4Chan would cook up to rile feminists and then laugh at them for being riled up – or maybe it’s just a scammer preying on lonely dudes to sell a non-existent product.
For instance, it’s suspicious that the watch renders look suspiciously like bad Apple Watches, while the video shows a drawing of a Pebble. Has the watch even been designed? It was slated to arrive in November 2015 – just two months from now – and colours/materials are specified in the pledge tiers, but there are no actual photos. Hmm.
Before the funding window closed, we spoke to Indiegogo to find out if either the gross manipulation angle or the potential fakeness would be enough to get the Dating Skills Smartwatch kicked off the site – after all, their biggest competitor Kickstarter banned seduction manuals. Indiegogo’s answer? Nah. This is fine.
The Dating Skills Smart Watch campaign is compliant with Indiegogo Trust & Health policies. The images and video are renderings that are similar in look to watches in the current market, therefore they are not violating any Indiegogo policies.
Indiegogo’s open platform continues to empower entrepreneurs and creators to turn their ideas into reality. All campaigns require the support of the people to succeed in reaching their goal’s.
We’re disappointed that Indiegogo are OK with this, and presumably therefore happy to have their logo prominently displayed in this gross as hell video for the watch:
But while Indiegogo might be fine with “hypnosis” smartwatches, actual scientists are not. Matt Wall PhD from the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College, London, just about spat out his drink when we showed him the page:
“Oh. My. God. This is absolute gold. I mean, even leaving aside the outrageous sexism, I honestly don’t know where to start in de-bunking this; there’s just so much bullshit, and half of it doesn’t even make sense in terms of written language, let alone science.
I guess the core of it is the subliminal messages that supposedly “reprogram your brain” or whatever. Subliminal advertising generated a lot of interest in the 60s, and people got very concerned about whether you could control people by tapping into their unconscious mind, etc. Of course you can’t – there are some laboratory-based results that seem to show that unconsciously presented stimuli can have some small effects, but there are lots of issues with that research, and you certainly can’t use that kind of thing for driving complex behaviours like picking brand X over brand Y.
Then in the 70s compact cassettes came along, and people started flogging weight loss/motivational/get-rich-
So, it’s a very old idea, reinvented for the modern age with a smartwatch. Honestly though, the whole effort is so crass and basic it’s a wonder Indiegogo allowed it on their site – have they no standards?”
If subliminal neurononsense isn’t enough to convince you that the inventor is off his rocker, check out the lucky coin section of the page:
This is what finally convinced us that it’s not so much a scam as the product of a very troubled mind. The quote from the ‘inventor’ at the end of the video is genuinely depressing:
This guy needs help.
But not with funding his gross, sexist, scientifically unsound ‘product’. Which is lucky, because he didn’t get any. Possibly because when we asked some men what they thought of the watch, they responded like this:
@holly Wow, just wow. Is it a spoof? Imagine the sort of people who read The Game may like a digital version… but what utter bollocks
— Guy Levin (@guy_levin) September 7, 2015
@holly Are Lynx making watches now?
— Matt Jeffs (@Nimbws) September 7, 2015
@holly I find “being a (vaguely) normal human being” is a cheaper option when it comes to dating.
— Eliot Andersen (@EliotAndersen) September 7, 2015
— Rostopher (@CJMRoss) September 7, 2015
@holly buying that should put you on some kind of register.
— Adam Harper (@adamcharper) September 7, 2015
@holly I want to throw up
— Ben Barrett (@ChaosSmurf) September 7, 2015
@holly the fuck.
— Joshua Rice (@joshuarice) September 7, 2015
— Mike Moore (@notTHEmikemoore) September 7, 2015
Oh well. At least he’s still got his lucky coin, right?
Main image: YouTube/The Pick Up Girls SmartWatch