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He had been a detection analyst, interpreting intelligence signals.Jiyeon (Yundi), a sophomore, had a heart-shaped face and a chic, whimsical way of dressing: that night, she was wearing a floral do-rag in her long black hair. The boys’ room had called the girls’ room on the hotel phone—since they were strangers, this was the only way to communicate; the boys had got a list of girls’-room numbers from the trip’s chaperones—and asked if they wanted to do a (“room-meeting”), a type of group blind date.twenty-ﬁve million, they were two, speeding toward the glowing span of the Wonhyo Bridge on a warm spring night, the scooter trailing pink balloons. They were natives of the most wired city in the world, a megalopolis that is nearly twice as dense as New York but maintains the wide margins of the suburbs—roomy restaurants, boulevards lined with trees.The city belonged to them, beaming its vital signs at speeds of more than fifty megabits per second to its citizens, who bunched and flowed in near-instantaneous reply.(Recent competitors include Couple, which offers a “thumbkiss” feature, and an app called Avocado, because “Avocado trees don’t self-pollinate—they need another tree nearby to bear fruit.”) Between has attracted modest followings in countries like Japan and the United States, but in South Korea more than half of twentysomethings have used it.
Jimin and Yundi remembered having exchanged a high five.They showed movie trailers, monitored exchange rates, dispensed coupons, and made restaurant recommendations.Nearby, a resident could order groceries from a virtual supermarket by scanning QR codes that corresponded to the desired items, which would be delivered to his house in a matter of hours.Seoul is a sort of terrestrial embassy for the virtual universe. A user can send her girlfriend a “sticker”: some, such as a pink bunny blowing kisses, are free; others can be bought from the sticker store for two dollars each. It’s the color of pine, with a cutout handle—an online depository for photos, notes, and the sorts of keepsakes that once nested in the corners of underwear drawers but now often seem to evaporate, dispersed among e-mail, voice mail, text, and social networks.
The city is to high-tech wizardry as Milan is to fashion, or Los Angeles to film. You can have only one contact on Between—your significant other.He tied them to the back of his motorbike, thinking it would look like a newlyweds’ car, and picked Yundi up after her classes.