While the rest of the world is rapt by news of international terrorists and stealth special ops missions, perhaps we should offer a little thought to kissing. Our new Facebook-oriented world has brought people together in ways never before possible, but we’re still missing some elements of human connection. You know, like the physical kind.
And in a bid to enhance long-distance relationships, Japanese researchers have developed a kissing machine that lets users ‘transmit the feeling of a kiss’ over the Internet. The device, created by the Kajimoto Research Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications, consists of a hardware receptacle that is placed into the mouth.
“If you take one device in your mouth and turn it with your tongue, the other device turns in the same way,” engineer Nobuhiro Takahashi told Diginfo.tv. “If you turn it back the other way, then your partner’s turns back the same way, so your partner’s device turns whichever way your own device turns.”
“It’s achieved only by motor rotations, and you control the rotation positions via PC. It’s called a bilateral control, and the turn angle information is sent reciprocally by both devices to maintain the same position. Right now the values are handled by one PC, but if a system is put together to handle the values over a network, then it would be easy for this operation to be conducted remotely.”
The lab is still working on recreating other elements of a kiss other than tongue movement – like breathing, tongue moistness and the sense of taste. “If we can recreate all of those, I think it will be a really powerful device,” added Nobuhiro Takahashi.
The position information values can also be recorded, and the kiss information for different individuals can be freely replayed. “For example, if you have a popular entertainer use this device and record it, that could be hugely popular if you offer it to fans,” said Nobuhiro Takahashi.
“Imagine young girls (or boys!) everywhere staying up late making out with a program of Justin Bieber’s kisses. It’s a million-dollar idea,” writes FastCompany’s Morgan Clendaniel. [DigInfo (TV) and Kajimoto Research Laboratory; via Techland, Fast Company and CNET]