Even though the Internet has made it easier for couples to communicate with each other, long-distance relationships are still difficult, but an ongoing project from Lovotics could soon break down the physical barrier that exists between separated lovers.
After all, who, at the end of a video chat, hasn’t longed for an almost featureless face the size and shape of an Ostrich egg to smooch with before saying goodnight?
Meet Kissenger version 2.0, an artificial mouth designed to transfer a kiss in real-time via the Internet. It works by plugging into a USB port and when you kiss the device’s lips, pressure sensors and actuators replicate the sensation on the other Kissenger, and vice versa.
The shame you’ll feel when you stop kissing it and close the video chat window, will sadly, be all too real.
The Kissenger device has been around for a year or so, and the design has moved on from a disturbing shrunken head and a miniature pig — which perhaps didn’t say the nicest things about your partner’s looks — to the egg-with-lips you see here.
Kissenger has been developed by Hooman Samani of Lovotics in Singapore, who says it’s still a prototype, but tests have shown “people have found it a very positive way to improve intimacy in communications with their partners.”
Samani also told the NewScientist.com that Kissenger won’t reach the stores until “all the ethical and technical considerations are covered,” as apparently he “isn’t interested in sexual uses for it.”
That’s a shame Mr. Samani, as everyone else is.
So, Lovotics obviously has romance and a peck on the cheek in mind for the Kissenger, and presumably wouldn’t endorse its use by adult entertainers, the men who build machines to take Hatsune Miku on a virtual date, or Howard and Raj.
While the company’s intention to help those separated from their loved ones maintain a degree of intimacy during those difficult times is noble, one must question whether handing your loved one a Kissenger and saying “when I kiss my weird, bald egg, you kiss yours,” would cause irrevocable damage to any relationship before you even step out the door.
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