A new wave is sweeping through the world of dating,
making blind dates passé, rendering speed dating boring, and making lonely
hearts ads practically non-existent.
Shyno T-shirts, and you read that right, are the latest
twist in the complex world of relationships.
You see these t-shirts come with technological backing in the form of a
SMS service to facilitate dating.
This is how it works: you buy a t-shirt for €38 (£25),
from one of 250 shops, with a nickname and number printed on it, which together
form a code - Doris 232, for example, Mellow 14 or Fancy 005.
The organisers give
you a membership card bearing a secret password; this enables you to register
online with the scheme's website, www.shyno.com.
Next step: you see the girl or boy of your dreams wearing one in the disco or
pub, on the beach, or on the street. You make a note of the code and send an
admiring text or video message to the website, which passes it on to him or
her, with your details and your own mobile phone number. The object of your
desire can then respond, or not.
Says Mauro Falcinelli, the scheme's Rome representative, "If
he or she gets in touch, then the rest is up to you. Simple, anonymous,
discreet - and romantic. If you see a coded T-shirt and are dazzled by its
contents, you just try your luck. Young women are wary of responding to
approaches by strangers. Romance has become a risky business."
The Shyno service is the brainchild of Simone Giancola,
28, a medical student frustrated by his inability to contact a beautiful woman
whom he spotted on a boat across the water. "I saw this stunning girl on a
sailing boat, quite the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen in my life. The boat
had a number, and I thought, ‘If only the number of that boat was a telephone
number'. Then it came to me."
What began as a trial in a nightclub has grown and in a
year since its inception, more than 20,000 T-shirts have been sold. Mr Giancola
expects to have 200,000 customers by the end of this year and a million within
three years. Women have taken to the scheme in a big way and account for sixty per
cent of customers.
Shyno plans to extend the service to include car number
plates. Till then catch the ad here.