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We’ve already written about Skout, a location-based dating application that recently came to the iPhone — but today at the DEMO conference in Palm Springs, it just announced a big addition to its service. That addition is the Skout Out, a kiosk of sorts for location-based dating that features a jukebox and a 42-inch plasma screen.

It’s one of the more out-there concepts I’ve seen at DEMO, and I mean that in a good way. At first, it seems silly to add a giant device to a service whose big advantage is mobility — and that silliness is underlined by the fact that Skout Out kind of looks like a giant mobile phone — but after hearing the pitch, I think it could actually function as way to “anchor” Skout in a physical location, as the company claims. Not only can you perform the basic Skout functions, such as finding nearby single folks and sending a flirtatious message to their phone, but you can also buy them a drink or play them a song on the jukebox.

The concept is fun enough that people would enjoy trying it out — at least judging from all the snickering conversations about Skout Out that I’ve heard today — but it also allows for a more traditional business model. The service isn’t just based on virtual goods and advertising, but also involves buying real products and forking over real cash to play music, just like a normal jukebox.

(And I swear I didn’t come up with this, but other DEMO attendees pointed out addition money-making possibilities, such as paying a big fee to hide a bar or club from the rest of the network if you don’t want to deal with too much competition. Again, I didn’t come up with this.)

Of course, as with any social service, the real issue is adoption — but chief executive Christian Wiklund and Business Development Vice President Redg Snodgrass say the Skout Out will “soon” be in 10,000 locations. The San Francisco company has raised around $1 million in two rounds of angel funding.
Skout OUT from TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters on Vimeo.


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