Do you ever feel awkward when your girlfriend blows you a kiss over a Skype call and waits for you to blow a kiss back? Or when your mom makes a kissing sound over the phone and you're not quite sure how to respond? The answer to your problem is finally here and is called the Kissenger! (Well, we can't tell if this is a better solution or more awkward, but its presence is fascinating.)
The Kissenger smartphone adapter helps you avoid "awkward kiss blowing" over the phone and allows you to give your loved one a "real" kiss over the internet. It senses your kiss and transmits the sensation to your loved one in real time. The device even recognizes the force of your kiss and can replicate it when "kissing" your loved one.
The Kissenger, whose name is a combination of kiss and messenger, was created by Emma Yann Zhang and her team. They created the device in order to connect "couples in long distance relationships," "family members traveling or living in different parts of the world" and "idols and their fans from all around the world".
The Kissenger is made up of high precision force sensors which are embedded in a silicon lip. The sensors "measure the dynamic forces at different parts of your lips during a kiss". The device transmits the data collected by the sensors to your phone. The phone then sends the data, in real time, to your loved one's phone over the internet. Once the data is received on the other side, miniature linear actuators reproduce the kiss on your loved one's lips, "creating a realistic kissing sensation."
[Image Source: Kissenger]
The Kissenger "provides a two-way interaction just like in a real kiss." It allows you to feel your loved one's kiss on your lips when they kiss you back.
According to the creators, "Kissing is the most direct and effective way to express your feelings and love. With Kissenger, you can kiss your loved ones even when you are physically apart."
The first working prototype of the Kissenger was made for iOS devices. It fits over the phone like a phone cover and connects to the audio jack of iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
The Kissenger uses an app to transfer replica kisses to your loved ones.
[Image Source: Kissenger]
The Kissenger device is Zhang's Ph.D. project which is still being researched. She is currently performing laboratory tests and recording data related to blood pressure and heart rate. The purpose of these tests is to see whether people are affected by the device's kiss in the same way as by a real kiss.
Will people be able to differentiate between a human kiss and a computer-simulated kiss? Or is this just 'too far'?
Zhang plans to continue her research at the City University London lab of Adrian Cheok.
Written by Terry Berman