Humanity Death Watch

First mobile device for couples turns heads

Love means never having to say you’re offline.

Love means never having to say you’re offline.

Wearables maker Jawbone unveiled on Thursday the world’s first Web-enabled mobile device for couples. It goes on sale next week.

Named “HeadsUp,” the device encourages face-to-face communication and stronger relationships by making mobile computing a couple’s activity. Product developer Lisa Twitch said the device was inspired by a former boyfriend who incessantly checked his phone instead of looking at her and working on their relationship.

Woman can’t keep hands off Web-enabled boyfriend

Emma Madison and boyfriend Liam Howard tested the forehead-mounted mobile solution for a month.

Both say they love the device, which affixes with 3M VHB™ acrylic double-sided mounting tape. “It’s addictive,” said Madison. “I can talk with Liam while doing something useful like checking email or updating my Facebook page.”

Howard said the device occasionally gives him a headache, but he doesn’t mind if it brings him and his girlfriend closer. “I’m so much more engaged in the relationship now. Emma can’t seem to get enough of me.”

While either person in the relationship can wear the touchscreen device, most men make better “hosts” because they have more forehead real estate, explained Twitch. This allows for larger screens and a richer user experience. “I’ve got this massive Peyton Manning forehead that’s perfect for the device,” joked Howard.

Mobile app developers are excited about the new platform, built on the Android operating system. One of Madison’s favorite apps is a lighted mirror, which she uses to fix her hair and makeup and look behind her for admirers and stalkers. Another is a list app. “Instead of making mental grocery lists while we’re having sex, I can make real lists. But I tell Liam I’m watching lesbian porn,” she confided.

Relationship expert sees pluses

“There are lots of positives for couples,” said relationship counselor Abigail Yancey. “How many times do you see couples in a restaurant just itching to grab their phones to look up a sports score, shop for throw pillows or check Facebook, but they realize it would be rude to their partner. Now every online visit becomes a mutual opportunity for closer communication and deeper bonds.”

Minor problems have cropped up for Howard and Madison. Once Madison became frustrated when Howard couldn’t maintain a strong Internet connection. Another time she began yelling at him because of something she read on his forehead display. “I had to remind her not to shoot the messenger,” Howard said.

But there have been special moments, too. One morning Howard woke up to find his girlfriend straddling him, playing Words with Friends. “Let’s just say we both scored that morning,” he said.

Photo credit: Happy Couple Self Portrait by Joshua Duggan, licensed under CC 2.0

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