In an age when quick-swipe mobile dating apps like Tinder are in focus, 17-year-old online dating site eHarmony is taking a step forward in tech. On Wednesday, eHarmony launches on Amazon Echo, making it the first dating app to integrate with a major artificial intelligence system, the company boasts in a press release.
The integration means that eHarmony users can ask Alexa to read them their matches and messages, on an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot — or Alexa can show them their matches, visually, on the new Amazon Show device, which has a seven-inch touchscreen.
Alexa will provide a “human element to eHarmony,” says eHarmony CEO Grant Langston. The term for apps on Alexa is “skills,” and Langston adds that, “The eHarmony skill for Alexa surfaces pertinent information, like location and occupation, that some people might gloss over if they are just quickly swiping at attractive pictures.”
Amazon is singing the same tune: “We think voice can provide a more natural and friendly interface for engaging with apps like eHarmony’s” says an Amazon spokesperson.
Grant Langston, who has been eHarmony CEO for just over a year, told Yahoo Finance in a July interview that he expects further consolidation in the online dating industry. “There are a lot of apps that are very small, VC-run properties that, in some cases, have a good idea but they don’t know how to monetize it,” he said. “I think there is some sense that a rollup, consolidation—pick your word—is coming. It’s hard to know exactly how that happens.”
To set up the eHarmony integration, Echo owners must enable the eHarmony “skill,” then link their eHarmony account in the Alexa app. When using the skill, eHarmony says, Alexa will also offer up verbal witticisms like, “Oh my, you have a lot of new matches.”
Unless you don’t have a lot of new matches.
Daniel Roberts is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering tech and media.