Lifestyle & Belief

Iceland develops 'anti-incest' app for its tiny population


The Northern Lights are seen above the ash plume of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in the evening April 22, 2010.


Lucas Jackson

A new smartphone app has been developed to help Icelanders — whose country has a population of 320,000 — avoid accidental incest while navigating the dating scene.

Anti-virus software developer Friorik Skulason had previously produced a database where Icelanders could trace their heritage online, which has now allowed three app developers to use the information collected to create an anti-incest feature on their Book of Icelanders Android app.

The app allows users to "bump" phones, giving them a warning alarm if they are closely related. "Bump the app before you bump in bed," says the app's cheeky slogan.

Arnar Aoalsteinsson, Alexander Helgason and Hakon Bjornsson, all in their final year at the University of Iceland, developed the app in order to enter an app-building contest sponsored by the owners of the aforementioned Íslendingabók database. They won.

More from GlobalPost: Iceland, where everyone is related to Bjork

It currently only allows users to figure out who shares a grandparent with them, but the team of developers said it is looking into functionality for spotting common great grandparents too.

While the app may seem unnecessary to some, others have called it a welcome solution to a form of social embarrassment that is all too common in Iceland.

"Everyone has heard the story of going to a family event and running into a girl you hooked up with some time ago," Einar Magnusson, a graphic designer in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, told the Associated Press.

"It's not a good feeling when you realize that girl is a second cousin. People may think it's funny, but (the app) is a necessity."