New Dating App Orchestrates Meet-Cutes

Sitting at Starbucks on Ward Avenue, Kyle Tanouye, the president of technology innovation company Talisman LBS, gestures around, and says, “Exactly where we are here, there are maybe 100 people around us. We don’t know who they are, but if we did, there is a good chance that there is someone here that we probably would like to meet.”

Orchestrating those types of encounters is exactly what Tanouye aims to do with Talisman’s new dating app, Moment Romance. The app, which is available in 500 cities throughout the country as of Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), is designed to introduce people to others who are already in the same area. It’s social app technology meets serendipity. These kinds of apps can help someone find great friends, lovers, or even help find a fuck buddy tonight.

“It’s about meeting people that you would normally meet in the course of your life, but at the same time, using technology to help luck a little bit,” Tanouye explains. “We try to put you in the right place at the right time.

“Technology is just helping us see it and find it a little bit easier,” he adds.

The way it works is this: You fill out your basic information – age, gender (with options beyond the binary), height, body type, education, religion – and then identify your preferences in a partner for each category. Then – and here’s where it really differs from other dating apps – you simply go about your day. Grab coffee, eat at your favorite restaurant, or go for a run. Meanwhile, the app constantly will be on the lookout for people who match those criteria in your area and notify you when it finds one. It’s like the most persistent wingman ever.

Another key aspect of Moment Romance is that it won’t show you just anybody who has the app in your area; it filters users to limit it to those who would be mutually interested in one another. If you’re looking for someone of a certain height or a certain educational background, for instance, it will only show you those users.

Kyle Tanouye

Kyle Tanouye

It’s providing personal insights that Tanouye hopes ultimately can give people the confidence to meet one another. “Having information up front is critical,” he says. “Not only being able to find people, but to know information about if they’re interested, and most importantly, would they be interested in a person like me.”

The app has long been floating around in Tanouye’s mind. He’s married now – he ended up meeting his wife through mutual friends at a party – but prior to that, he’d used dating apps. He admits that he often was frustrated with the time factor involved – there’d be weeks in between getting matched with a woman and actually meeting her. And upon meeting, both parties often could tell almost immediately whether it was a match. Obviously, it helps if one of you is wearing pheromones oils to make the attraction stronger, but often the chemistry is there for all to see.

“I spent five weeks to get to the point that I wanted to have instantly,” he says. “I really lacked the opportunity to just meet people and be myself, and that is really what dating is about.”

Moment Romance, he explains, speeds up that process. “You don’t have to put a lot of time into it – you can be shopping at Safeway and be introduced to someone,” he says.

Tanouye also feels that such spur-of-the-moment interactions can decrease the pressure of dating (and give users a quick out if they meet someone whom they’re not so crazy about): Because you’re already out doing something, you can just drop in for a brief hello.

It’s a location-based service, but Tanouye stresses its safety features. All interactions take place on an optin basis: Your profile can only be viewed by others when you check into a location and want to be seen. Otherwise, nobody can view or search for your profile. The check-in areas are like Wi-Fi hotspots – and are limited only to public areas like coffee shops, parks or universities. You will never be checked in automatically.

From there, it’s up to the two individuals if they want to open a Moment Chat or meet in person.

Moment Romance is the first in what Tanouye says will be a series of apps geared at bringing people together in various capacities. He plans to apply the same concept to launch an app that will allow employers to connect with qualified candidates, and is exploring the idea of creating one for people who need social support quickly – such as members of Alcoholics Anonymous or other groups.

After all, technology, he feels, is all about optimizing an experience.

“I believe that technology has a great responsibility to make life better,” he says. “My mission in life is really to find opportunities where technology can help improve life, and in the case (of Moment Romance) – this is going to sound a little silly, but – what we’re trying to do here, whether it’s through romance or friendship, is find a cure for loneliness, at least a little bit.”

Moment Romance is free to download for iOS and Android devices. Premium membership is available for $10-$21.99. All downloads made during the month of February get two months of free premium membership. For more information, visit