Last month at the Designing Interactive Systems conference in Newcastle, U.K., researchers unveiled this creepy little divice—a wireless kissing machine called “Kissenger” that promises to simulate real affection and human contact through a large, faceless egg.
A wireless device, Kissenger has soft, plastic lips fixed over a pressure-sensing device. New Science explains:
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.
According to the video below, which is set to a Cranberries song, Kissenger is a tool for affection, created to aid human connection between family and loved ones. Because of our busy lives, “we yearn for the physical embrace and we miss the kiss,” it says in creepy monotone. Kissenger “simulates a realistic kiss experience which increases happiness and a sense of security within the family.”
Aside from that unlikely claim, developers also admit they can see Kissenger’s potential for human to robot kisses (enabling “an intimate relationship with a robot”), gaming kisses for online role playing (“providing a more meaningful link between real and virtual worlds”), and the “robot to robot kiss, allowing robots to take new identities in the future.” Because that’s just what we want: robots with identities and affectionate loyalty to other robots.
While Hooman Samani of Singapore-based Lovotics, the product’s developer, claims he’s not interested in Kissenger’s sexual uses, we can’t exactly make the same claim.