When you can't physically kiss your loved one, this could be the next best thing. Or the worst.
File this under the "what will they think of next?" category because this technology will leave you speechless.
When a kissy-face emoji is not enough, this new tool will be a more tactile version of a kiss you can get through your iPhone.
The "Kissinger," or kiss messenger, is a device meant to bring couples closer together by sealing the physical gap between them with a kiss. It was developed by Computer Science PhD student, Emma Yann Zhang.
Currently in prototype-phase, the Kissinger only supports iOS phones. So how does it work?
You insert your iPhone into this marvel of a gadget resembling a dock with a silicone pad in front. When you feel the time is right to give your long-distance lover a smooch during your FaceTime or Skype session, you make out with that silicone mound.
Sensors in the pad replicate the pressure applied by your lips through actuators beneath the surface, and the app transmits those signals to your recipient in real-time.
If you can't have your lover physically with you, then the Kissinger is perhaps the next best thing. According to Zhang, the app was developed to overcome the hardships of long-distance relationships.
Despite its fascinating convenience factor, don't get caught making out with your phone in public. That would be awkward.
Zhang said that the two-way device provides:
...effective communication of deep emotions and intimacy through a multisensory internet communication experience.
The love gadget sparked intrigue when Zhang spoke at a convention last week (December 19-20) about love and sex and robots. She believes in the inevitability of humans forming intimate relationships with artificial intelligence and robots. She posed the question of what it would be like for the two entities to share an intimate kiss, and how that would revolutionize romantic interactions.
But, she made it very clear that:
...this research will not attempt to conclude whether it is ethically acceptable to have intimate relationships with robots.
The Kissinger still has a ways to go until it's available to consumers, if at all. Much like its predecessor of the same name, but entirely unrelated, the earlier Kissinger was created in a Singapore National University lab, and it hasn't been available despite the website's mention of a January 2016 debut.
Zhang's Kissinger is still being researched. She's performing several lab tests and recording data pertaining to heart rate and blood pressure.
Through data results, She hopes to see if an artificial kiss through Kissinger would be effective enough for participants to "see fireworks."
Personally, a pulsating rubber mouthpiece would hardly make me weak in the knees, no matter who's transmitting lip service from afar. I'll personally have to wait and see. After all, the next generation of any gadget improves upon the original.
Maybe the "French"Kissinger will make you "see fireworks." Awkward, I know.