April 10, 2014 at 5:39 AM ET
If you've been checking out the person down the bar for a while now but don't want to be rude or presumptuous, this app may help. Mingleton acts like a hyper-local Tinder, letting people in the same room check each other out anonymously and see whether a chat or a dance might be welcome.
The app uses the iPhone's "iBeacon" indoor-positioning function to broadcast its owner's availability using Bluetooth. Profiles of people within 20 or 30 feet will show up on Mingleton's interface.
If you find someone who sounds interesting, or you see your across-the-room crush listed, tap them to send an anonymous request to "mingle" — if they happen to do the same for your Mingleton profile, you'll be connected.
Of course, the obvious question is: Why not just walk up and say "hi"? Well, it might be nice to be able to check ahead of time for a few deal-breakers. What if you look up a girl and there's a picture of her at a dog fight? Or what if that guy describes himself with the hashtag #pickupartist? Sometimes it's better to be sure.
It's not the only local dating app out there, and it's limited (for now) to iPhones, but it could be a fun way for people to meet at concerts, coffee shops, parties and other places where you often see someone you wish you knew was single and not crazy. Mingleton is free in the App Store.