A virtual reality (VR) experience billed as the world’s first VR program dedicated to online dating is set to launch next year.

Although social VR apps such as Facebook Venues, VRChat and Echo VR are used by many people to search for romance or hookups, Planet Theta is being touted as the first VR service designed exclusively for dating. It will be compatible with Oculus and Steam VR headsets.

Those roaming the world of Planet Theta, developed by Wyoming-based developer FireFlare Games, will be able to go on dates in places like virtual bars, apartments and forests. The virtual venues have been designed by London-based design firm Dashvisual.

First dates between users will be quickfire affairs, with a time limit of five minutes. FireFlare developer Chris Crew suggested that the time limit was set to allow users to go on many first dates in a short space of time.

To avoid users being let down when they meet a VR date in real life and discover that they’re not a dragon, dwarf, or as stunningly beautiful as their avatar suggested, users will have to verify that their Planet Theta avatar resembles their real-life appearance.

Planet Theta VR dating
One of Planet Theta’s virtual venues

Crew said: “We are trying to encourage people to look like themselves … what we don’t want is people to enjoy their date looking like a model and then find out they really look like normal people.”

After quick first dates, users will be able to go on interactive dates with activities such as playing card games.

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