What’s your worst nightmare? You meet the “perfect” guy only to find out later he’s your distant cousin. In a populated suburban area this may be unlikely, but in Iceland, a country of approximately 320,000 residents, where everyone is a distant relative, the risk of inadvertently following in love with a distant cousin is a real risk.
Not anymore. According to the Huffington Post a new smartphone application called App of Icelanders will allow Icelanders to avoid the uncomfortable possibility of incest. The slogan for the phone, “”Bump the app before you bump in bed,” has swept the small island nation and allows singles to simply bump their phones to find out if the person they have just met is a close relative. If the connection is too close to date the phone will emit a warning alarm.
What does the public say?
Public reaction has been positive. In fact many are claiming it’s a “welcome solution” to a potential social embarrassment. According to reports from many Icelanders it was not uncommon to meet someone and potentially hook up but then later run into that person at a family event.
Is this app valuable to other singles? Right now the app seems most beneficial in Iceland because a majority of the population is descended from 9th-century Viking settlers, and the genealogical details of almost the entire population has been entered into a database which details residents and their family trees stretching back 1,200 years. Without this information, it would be difficult to create an app for another country like America or England.
Who created the App of Iceland? The app was developed by software engineering students from the University of Iceland. The data base called the Islendingabok, or Book of Icelanders, had previously been developed, but the contest was hoping to spur creative new uses for the information.
Genealogy important for Icelandic Settlers
Icelanders have long since had a love for genealogy. It started over 1000 years ago when the Norse settlers arrived in A.D. 874. What was once an unpopulated North Atlantic island became a relatively homogenous and well-organized country. Year after year the Icelandic group documented their own genealogy. The attempts to keep historical accounts continued through family archives, church records and census data. Now, all of the information has been accumulated.
How successful is the “Incest App”?
So far the app is available for the Androin phone and has been downloaded over 4,000 times since its inception last month. An iphone version is in the works.
Icelanders say that this app does not mean that their country is full of inbred relatives or that incestuous relationships are really that prevalent in Iceland. It is simply a fun app that will get singles talking about dating and their genealogies but has limited uses for relatives related beyond common grandparents. So if you don’t know your first cousins and you live in Iceland it’s bound to help you avoid kissing a cousin.
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