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We’ve all been on dates that felt like conversational Saw traps. And though it pains me to revisit my own, I’m going to do just that. In college, I took a girl from my program out for coffee. She was cute, artsy and totally seemed like my type. So needless to say, I was looking forward to getting to know her. When we first sat down with our steamy beverages, I, true to form, inquired about her interests.

“Cupcakes and unicorns,” was her deadpan reply. At that precise moment (it had been maybe five minutes in), I knew I wanted out, but had no believable reason to sprint to my truck and burn rubber, leaving her in whatever fairy tale she currently believed to be inhabiting. (It was a Starbucks.)

As a result, I had to follow her unexpected response with a forced “cool”, then browsed nearby magazines at the connecting Indigo for conversation-starters that would warrant a less buoyant response. My plan failed miserably, and she continued talking nonsense for the next two hours.

Though this goes without saying, the date did not go well and we never spoke again. The reason I bring up this horrendous date, for those who could care less about the trials of my romantic life, is if I had been equipped with the This Is Your Out (or TIYO), an invention out of Kitchener, Ontario, I could have been rescued from this uncomfortable circumstance with a the flick of a wand — or more accurately, the press of a button.

TIYO

TIYO is a device specifically crafted to help one escape incredibly awkward or boring social situations. How it works is simple: say you run into a chatty coworker at the corner store and are pressed for time (or more realistically, you’re completely uninterested in talking to them and MasterChef is almost on); to swiftly escape the never-ending conversation without seeming rude, you simply press the discrete quarter-sized button on your TIYO device to signal an actual call to your cell.

You then answer the phone, repeat the script provided, and swiftly make your exit. Presto. TIYO allows its users to customize their caller ID (to say, mom, boss, or hubby) and offers multiple repeat-after-me scripts to choose from. The device will retail for $35 US.

“When it comes to dating, we’ve heard a number of women excited not necessarily to bail on a dude, but to get out of a date with someone who is overly aggressive or overtly sexual,” TIYO’s creator Ivan Lukianchuck told me. “She may be afraid of rousing him too much and just wants to sneak out discreetly without setting him off, as you don’t know what he might do.”

This particular situation is played out in their campaign video below. There are three altogether.

Additional features have been introduced concerning the to-be app’s future as well. One of which is a texting component that can send emergency text messages instead of a phone call.

TIYO is only a well-conceived idea at this point, one that requires serious financial support. With 24 days left in its Indigogo campaign, the device has raised $3,343 of its $100,000 goal as of this date.

“The $100,000 will allow us to finish the design and engineering to take our prototype to the consumer level. It will pay for the moulds, the certifications, and the actual cost for product and manufacturing.” Lukianchuk says. Unfortunately, the hardware is quite expensive to develop, he tells me, and eats up a good portion of the budget.

If you happen to like the idea, and believe an easy-out to a bad date, boring meeting, or really awkward conversation with the in-laws is indeed a great investment, you can contribute to the Canadian startup here.

Do you have any disaster date stories to share? Tell us some of your own in the comments below!

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