I must admit I was really excited when I downloaded this app I was told would turn my iPhone into “a stud finder.” Much to my chagrin, rather than helping me put up my new shelves it introduced me to Katsuhiro, a dashing young man who works at my local bakery.

This app was released by Datacraft on February 9, and uses GPS to locate the stores near you which have hot guys working there.  Called Ikemen Tenin MAP Sapporo (Map of Handsome Clerks in Sapporo), it’s designed for the working women who can’t find enough time to meet guys.

And who’s to blame them?  As sexual equality in the workplace continues to progress more and more women find themselves so career obsessed that they completely forget about love romance and all that mushy stuff – women like Datacraft’s head of corporate planning and PR, Sora Iwadate.

“It creates a chance for unmarried women in their 20’s and 30’s to kick start those feelings of romance in their lives by interacting with some of the finer examples of mankind. It’s a concept called 2.5D, where we can interact with beautiful people rather than just watch them on TV or in movies,” Ms. Iwadate explains.

The basic principle of the app is that after getting your location via GPS, it connects to a database of stores with exceptionally handsome men and finds the nearest ones to you.  All types of locations like shops, restaurants, schools, and salons are represented, as long as their staff is up to snuff.

Beyond that the functions in this app are quite deep.  It allows you to save your personal favorite hunks.  There is also a kind of hot-guy-hot-line where women on the street can tip off the Datacraft team to potential candidates for their database.

The data itself is deep as well; along with a picture and basic information for the gentlemen, there are also comments and a five-star ranking system available for each guy featuring five categories; Type, Looks, Charm, and Reputation. Each user is also provided with a regular e-magazine that updates you on the listed men and gives deeper information.

Still a fledgling program, the database of hunks is somewhat limited, showing about 50 men limited to the downtown Sapporo area, but the creators stress quality over quantity. “At first I thought 1000 men would be good to start with.  But after we began, 100 seemed like a better number to maintain a high man-standard for our list,” Ms. Iwadate said.

I’m not sure if this is what Susan B Anthony had in mind when it came to gender equality, but it can be a great way for smaller independent businesses to attract more customers.  And if the guys working there have what it takes, they could find themselves with very loyal customers.

Source: Sapporo Keizai Shinbun(Japanese)