French mobile app helps lovers have safe sex

A team of French entrepreneurs have used the latest technology to help promote safe sex in France by creating a smartphone app to help randy lovers find their nearest condom dispenser.

French mobile app helps lovers have safe sex
Photo Rorro Navia/Damien Varron

French techies have once again proved their ability to come up with a smartphone app to solve some of life’s major problems.

First it was a team of Parisians who created an app to allow people to notify others of the whereabouts of dog poo on the city’s streets. Then authorities developed an app so residents could point out litter black spots on the capital's notoriously dirty streets.

Now four entrepreneurs from Bordeaux have come up with an app to help lovers practice safe sex by alerting them to the nearest condom dispenser.

The creators behind ‘Condomatix’ say the idea started as a bit of fun but there is also a serious side to the new app.

“There is a growing need to prevent sexual transmitted diseases so using a condom is very important,” one of the creators, Damien Varron, told The Local.

“Twenty-six years after the first campaign in the fight against Aids it's time to come up with new ways of communication,” he added.

“So far the app has been well received and we think it will be popular in France because it is quite unique in that there are a lot of condom dispensers on the street.”

The application is in its early days and will rely on people posting the location of machines to build up the network so that randy couples right across the country can take advantage.

Users can geotag a dispenser, take a photograph of it and mention whether or not it is in working order or not. It is available for both Apple and Android smartphones.

Varron said the team had contacted condom manufactures to try and get their support. They are also looking to expand further afield and have already had contact with someone in Mexico who is interested in developing the app there.

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Uber wins French case despite EU court ruling

Ride-hailing giant Uber has won a case filed by a French driver claiming he should be considered an employee, with judges saying the company is simply an intermediary -- a ruling that clashes with a top EU court decision just weeks ago.

Uber wins French case despite EU court ruling
Photo: AFP
The decision by a Paris labour court, seen by AFP on Thursday, suggests that authorities and legal minds are divided over how to regulate companies and workers in the so-called “gig economy”.
The driver in the French case, who stopped working for Uber in 2016 after providing some 4,000 trips in under two years, later sued to have his “commercial accord” reclassified as an employment contract.
He was seeking reimbursement for holidays and expenses as well as indemnities for “undeclared work” and contract termination.
But in its ruling dated January 29, the court said drivers were free to refuse a trip and not subject to any oversight by Uber in terms of time worked.

Taxify - A 'cheaper, more ethical' Uber rival launches in ParisPhoto: AFP   

Uber offered “intermediation and not transportation services”, which meant it was linked to drivers only via “commercial contracts” that could not be considered terms of employment.
In December, however, the European Court of Justice deemed the US group a transportation service, subject to the same regulations governing taxis and other ride providers.
In Britain, Uber is appealing against a labour court ruling that would give its drivers the right to paid holidays and the national minimum wage.
The lawyer for the French driver said he was likely to appeal, saying the judges had failed to appreciate “the entire system” that goes with being an Uber driver.
“To generate sufficient revenues and meet their expenses, given the rates that are imposed, a driver effectively has to be connected to the service quite often,” the lawyer, Aurelie Arnaud, said.
Uber welcomed the decision, saying “tens of thousands of drivers in France use the Uber app because it lets them decide, in real time, if, when and where they want to drive.”