REYKJAVIK, Iceland — You meet someone, there's chemistry, and then come the introductory questions: What's your name? Come here often? Are you my cousin?
In Iceland, a country with a population of 320,000 where most everyone is distantly related, inadvertently kissing cousins is a real risk.
A new smartphone app is on hand to help Icelanders avoid accidental incest. The app lets users "bump" phones, and emits a warning alarm if they are closely related. "Bump the app before you bump in bed," says the catchy slogan.
Some are hailing it as a welcome solution to a very Icelandic form of social embarrassment.
"Everyone has heard the story of going to a family event and running into a girl you hooked up with some time ago," said Einar Magnusson, a graphic designer in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.
"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."
The Islendiga-App — "App of Icelanders" — is an idea that may only be possible in Iceland, where most of the population shares descent from a group of 9th-century Viking settlers, and where an online database holds genealogical details of almost the entire population.
The app was created by three University of Iceland software engineering students for a contest calling for "new creative uses" of the Islendingabok, or Book of Icelanders, an online database of residents and their family trees stretching back 1,200 years.