A few days ago my wife and I were skyping with Lilou. our 19 month-old granddaughter who lives far away in Donegal, Ireland. And before we hung up something happend that I found at once heartwarming and frightening: Whe bent down nad kissed our picture on the screen of her mother’s Samsung tablet.
I have told this story to a few people since, and the reactions are mixed, to say the least. But maybe the problem is that we just don’t have the right technology yet.
On reason kissing your loved ones via Internet has been a rather unsatisfying experience up to now, is essentiall lack of feedback. That’s why online kssing is usually restricted to blowing kisses at your computer screen while skyping with your lovedones back home.
However, researchers at City University London have developed a device called „Kissenger“. It has a slot for your iPhone and a pink, lip-shaped surface that can record and transmit realistic kissing sensations to a partner in real time. High precision force sensors are embedded under the silicon smackers to measure the dynamic forces at different parts of lips during a kiss. Miniature linear actuators are used to reproduce these forces on the partner’s lips, creating what its investors describe as a realistic smoochy feeling. Of course, we need to keep in mind that these guys are nerds, so maybe don’t exactly know what its like to make out in real life.