You can’t taste or smell things, through a smartphone but very soon you’ll be able to kiss someone. Oh yes! Thanks to a pretty weird looking device called the Kissenger that hooks up to your iPhone for virtual smooching bliss.
To kiss over the Internet or make their FaceTime or Skype video call more intimate, both iPhone users need to have a Kissenger inserted into their phones. Upon pressing their lips against Kissenger’s silicon pads containing force sensors, both users can feel the pressure pattern of their counterpart’s in real-time.
This virtual kiss in the Kissenger is simulated by actuators beneath the pink rubbery surface that push and pull to reproduce the kiss.
Kissenger (named so because it’s a “mobile kiss messenger”) is the PhD project of Emma Yann Zhang, a haptic science student in the City University London lab, and she wants to make it an essential device that helps people maintain long-distance relationships.
With the working prototype of the Kissenger, Zhang plans to help the device do more than just solve separated lovers’ problems. For example, she wants family members to use Kissenger — imagine grandchildren kissing their grandparents — sounds totally gross but that’s what Zhang’s plan is.
She also wants to design Kissenger-enabled Turing Tests for AI to pass. Results from these tests, no doubt, would be telling as it takes the use of haptics into virtually uncharted territory.
Watch the video here: