Cutting-edge devices that allow you to be ‘telepresent' are slowly starting to make an appearance in our lives, but a new kissing device that looks like the cross between Mr. Potato Head and and an ostrich egg may make us wish they will never catch on.
Called Kissenger, the device will allow couples to send wireless kisses to each other over long-distances — but after taking a look at this thing, you'll probably just want to blow your partner a kiss.
The kissing device was recently unveiled at the Designing Interactive Systems conference in Newcastle, U.K., this past June. It consists of a pair of pressure-sensitive soft plastic lips which are affixed to a smooth plastic casing.
Writing in New Scientist, Paul Marks describes Kissenger:
The lips contain pressure sensors and actuators. When you kiss them, the shape changes you create are transmitted in real time over the net to a receiving Kissenger. There, the actuators reproduce the mirror image of the pressure patterns you created– magically transmitting your smacker to your partner.
"People have found it a very positive way to improve intimacy in communications with their partners when they are apart," claims Hooman Samani of Singapore-based Lovotics, which developed the device.
The device is a prototype and Samani says it will not be commercialised until "all the ethical and technical considerations are covered". He adds: "I am not interested in sexual uses for it."
The developers foresee other uses for their device, including its eventual application to robotics and online role playing games like Second Life.
Well, combine this with touch sensitive artificial butt-cheeks and we might actually be onto something.