To cope with long-distance relationships, partners often train memory like a muscle, flexing in times of desire a truly sensational remembrance of compassion, in order to rejoin lost love with the present. But if you would rather let this extraordinary part of the brain atrophy in lieu of a cheap technological surrogate, you end up kissing a lumpy, bloated device of mechanical grotesquerie called a Kissenger.
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.
But is it really your partner? As more people have the option become globally itinerant and remotely in love, solutions to the pain distance causes can be devastating to the relationship. I’m not sure what devastates the human heart more—losing love, or making love to the featureless head of a robotic Harry Kissinger.
Like most commentators, US broadcaster CNN was unimpressed. The researchers’ idea of recording celebrity tongue motions for all to experience was not particularly well received.
“The main aim is to improve long-distance relationships, says [Hooman Samani of Singapore-based Lovotics, which developed the device.] We’ve taken several steps to minimise the creepiness.”
Apparently, this means dressing up the egg like a pig. If the distance must carry on, perhaps you can do what Kevin Warwick did—implant a chip and sidestep the horror of the uncanny valley for pure telekinetic sensation.