Toothing was originally a media hoax that claimed that Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones or PDAs were being used to arrange random sexual encounters.It appears that toothing started around March 2004, in the form of a fake forum designed by Ste Curran, then Editor at Large at games magazine Edge, and ex-journalist Simon Byron. On April 4, 2005, the creators of the forum admitted that the whole thing was a hoax.
In toothing, a Bluetooth device is used to ‘discover’ other enabled devices within about 30 feet (10 meters), then send the expression toothing? as an initial greeting. In addition, or when sending of text messages via Bluetooth is not possible, the Bluetooth name of the phone can be set to toothing? or something else to indicate interest.
Although created as a hoax, bluetoothing merged the very credible concepts of short-range wireless networking and desire for sexual partners. Recent news from more credible sources shows some evidence of real usage of bluetooth for this purpose in (generally concurred) public places. Given the limited functionality and poor usability of standard bluetooth implementations to support messaging, it is not surprising that wider usage of it would only arise in extreme dating situations. Bluetoothing is an example of localized social networking, which is becoming increasingly popular via products such as Jambo, Enpresence, DodgeBall, MobiLuck, Easy Jack,Crunkie, MamJam, Cellphedia, and Playtxt. A related term is MoSoSo (Mobile Social Software) and a recent entrant in this category is a Windows-based application called My MoSoSo. Nokia has released a product called Sensor which standardizes many of the original concepts guiding the creation of the hoax.