Long-distance love made easier with Kissenger, the virtual kissing gadget

kissenger pressure sensors actuators
Emma Yann Zhang
Long-distance relationships are hard. Even though smartphones and the internet help bring us closer, physical contact can make all the difference.

A new device called Kissenger hopes to bridge the gap separating long-distance loved ones. Developed by researchers in Adrian David Cheok’s Imagineering Lab and Imagineering Institute in Iskandar, Malaysia, Kissenger simulates a kiss using pressure sensors and actuators, while users are video chatting through an iOS application.

“The Kissenger device was built for people to better express intimacy and emotion remotely through internet kissing,” Emma Yann Zhang, a PhD student at City University London, told Digital Trends. “It aims to fill in the missing dimension of touch in traditional digital communication, which largely focuses on verbal and audio information. We believe that physical touch is the most important channel to communicate one’s emotions and to maintain close relationships with your loved ones on the other side of the world.”

Kissenger isn’t the first of such devices to emerge from the Imagineering Lab. Cheok’s past projects have included the Huggy Pajama and RingU, both of which digitally transmit the sensation of touch from one wearer to another.

To be sure, these devices aren’t exclusively designed for couples. Zhang insists families could benefit from the added affection as well. And it apparently isn’t limited to human-human interaction, either.

The researchers demonstrated Kissenger last month at the Love and Sex With Robots conference in London, where experts and enthusiasts discussed the growing implications of sexualized androids. In that vein, the Imagineering Lab is also planning to integrate the device into a kissing humanoid robot with interactive lips. “With new types of technologies and interfaces that enable physical intimacy between humans and robots,” Zhang said, addressing a subject that remains controversial, “I believe that we can form more humanistic and intimate relationships with robots.”

For now the researchers are looking for commercial partners and investors to bring Kissenger to market so you too can soon smooch your long distance partner.

Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.