Bluetooth-enabled masks distributed throughout Rio de Janeiro's Music Carnival this year acted as a kind of live-action Tinder, matching the gyrating masses with other sweaty, dancing maniacs based on their Facebook likes. If you face another masquerade participant, it lights up either red or green, depending on if you have similar interests. According to the video advertising this much-needed new social interaction hardware, when you match green with someone, you proceed to make out on the dance floor like you're in an ad for gin.
The video actually is an alcohol commercial. These party favors are the project of Skol Beats, the creative division of the Brazilian beer brand. In 2014 they also shot a sick video of a club that looks like it's entirely underwater, complete with a rollerblading dancer walking a shark. Using over-the-top visuals and what Skol Beats' YouTube page describes as "MIT technology," though, these Facebook-matching Bluetooth masks are something else entirely.
Tinder is a great example of game-ification, a concept positing that normally difficult tasks like dating can be made easier for humans if framed like a game. This works because you can turn a game off. Bringing that concept into real life, even as a interactive crowdsourced conceptual art performance, is both alluring and potentially problematic for those opposed to masquerade shenanigans. Come to think of it, it's kind of like everything within the world of alcoholic beverage marketing, anyway.
Taken at face value, it's hard not to be compelled by these masks. I want one that lights up whenever I meet someone who's ranted on Facebook in favor of Donald Trump, so I can run the other way.
Via Visual News