But recently I learned of an app that surprised me. It’s an “incest prevention” app (yes, really) … available only in Iceland.
It seems that (in all seriousness) Iceland has a unique need for such an app, and here’s why:
The population is rather small, only 320,000 people, and family names are not representative of family groups. In other words, in the US for example, a person’s last name has traditionally been the same as the father’s, and his last name would be the same as his father, and so on. But in Iceland the last name is constructed from the mother’s or father’s FIRST name, with a “son” or “dottir” added as a suffix. So even close relatives have different last names.
Over the years, Iceland has developed The Book of Icelanders, containing the genealogical data of almost every single resident. Using this as a starting point, a group of three Software Engineering students at the University of Iceland created this app.
How does it work?
Well, if two people are interested in taking their relationship to a more ‘serious’ level, they both lift their phones and ‘bump’ them together. The app will then let them know if they are related or not. It goes without saying that this would be valuable information to the relationship-wanna-bes. 🙂