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New Android app set to prevent accidental incest in Iceland

17th May 2013

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You know that awkward moment: you’re out, you meet someone, you talk, it goes well, you lean in to kiss them – and realise that they’re your cousin?


Well, spare a thought for the poor students of Iceland – a country where most people are related to each other.

Iceland has a popular of just 320,000, giving it roughly the same number of inhabitants as a city the size of Preston - meaning running into someone you’re related to and not realising it is a very distinct possibility.

It’s one of the more unusual dating problems that we’ve heard of, but we imagine it must be pretty off-putting.

Luckily help is at hand to prevent the hapless daters of Iceland from engaging in accidental incest.

The helping hand comes in the form of an Android app. Obviously.

How the Isendiga-App works is simple: just ‘bump’ your phones together, and they will activate the ‘Incest Prevention Alarm’ – which we imagine will emit some form of loud warning sound if you’re closely related.

And then presumably you can walk away and start attempting to get over the fact that you just had less than family-esque feelings towards a (distant) relation/praying that there is never in the future an event where large numbers of extended family gather together.

Einear Magnusson, a graphic designer from Reykjavik, thinks the app is necessary.

“Everyone has heard the story of going to a family event and running into a girl you hooked up with some time ago,” he says. “It’s not a good feeling when you realize that girl is a second cousin.”

No, we imagine that wouldn’t be a good feeling.

The app was created by engineers at the University of Iceland, who used the online Book of Icelanders – a genealogy record that includes details of almost every citizen and stretches back over 1,000 years.

The 'Incest Prevention Alarm' isn't the only feature of the app. It also uses the Book of Icelanders to let users investigate their genealogy - a popular past-time in the country.  

Since its creation last month the app has been downloaded almost 4,000 times, and there are plans to create an iPhone version. 

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