We surveyed 250 Harvard undergraduates about their responsiveness to various pickup and opening lines that one might receive on a dating application testing how they responded to sexual, random, plain, or funny text, offers, emojis, and gifs. We came to many interesting conclusions from our data including that nobody likes an opening emoji, everybody likes an offer, funny messages perform about as well as plain ones, men respond much better to sexually explicit messages than women do on average, and everybody hates a message that is seemingly random. The insight from the survey that we chose to design on was that everybody seemed likely to respond to a lone .gif animation despite there not being any written text or creative work on the sender. We believe that the technological novelty, pop-culture relevance, and open room for interpretation makes all individuals more likely to respond to a gif.

We wanted to capitalize on this ambiguous and gimmicky greeting but translate it into a real-world setting where that isn’t as possible. Modern-day pickup lines sort of sit alongside the casual pun as conversational tools that are so ludicrously uncool that they are better, and funnier, the worse they are. We started by targeting the most obvious hotbed of sexually charged interactions with strangers, the bar. From there we could pick the most obvious first encounter which is the act of buying another a drink. We flirted with ideas of flip books as coasters or rotating cups but decided on using light to display a hologram within a glass. The special glass required is simply a four sided slanted prism that sits atop a projector that projects four screens upward into the prism which combines the light to the viewer seemingly inside the glass. Here is a video of our prototype:


The idea is that a patron would purchase a special hologram drink for someone else with or without introducing themselves first. They would be able to choose various holograms from a selection database like Giphy perhaps. The cup sits on top of a digital coaster/screen that projects the hologram into the cup for a brief moment but is then taken away at some point by the bartender since it is largely the most expensive part of the duo.