Researchers in Japan are working on revolutionary new technology that will simulate kissing over the internet.
It might not look like much more than a box with a straw and some wires sticking out of it, but this device created by students at the Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications in Japan is so very much more than that. "This device is for communications within the mouth, in other words, the goal is to obtain the feeling of kissing," said researcher Nobuhiro Takahashi. "If you take one device in your mouth and turn it with your tongue, the other device turns in the same way."
The video, and the entire concept, strikes me as more than a little bizarre and decidedly un-kissing-like. The project is still in the prototype phase but the distinct absence of lips is problematic and I have to wonder how exciting it can possibly without the risk of stale coffee breath and teeth awkwardly and painfully banging together. Takahashi, however, said the lab is working hard to address those shortcomings. "The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the matter of breathing and the moistness of the tongue," he explained. "If we can recreate all of those I think it will be a really powerful device."
And what, you may wonder, are the practical applications for this thing? Aside from the obvious cross-market opportunities with the also-invented-in-Japan SOM, Takahashi suggested that entertainers could use it to record and sell their kisses. "That could be hugely popular if you offer it to fans," he said.
Yeah, or hugely weird. Take your pick.