Is this funny or just creepy? Zappybaby, a Belgian e-commerce site for new parents, has set up a service for couples who are trying to conceive: It pages them when their fertility patterns say they should make love. Women who sign up fill out questionnaires about their menstrual cycles--how long, when did the last one start--then wait for messages to start arriving. Zappybaby co-founder Frederic Laloux says most of the service's 4,000 clients set preferences so their partners' cell phones display both bare facts and mash notes they want sent.
The two-month old service may expand to France, and talks with U.S. investors are in the works. But this may not be a path to big bucks, says Jason Catlett, the online privacy activist who runs Junkbusters.com. "The number of people who need to be reminded to procreate isn't a long-term growth model," Catlett jabs. Even if the service may have a tough time attracting money, it can at least summon love.