Aug. 20 - A robotics researcher in Singapore has developed a machine with synthetic lips that transmits kisses through the internet. Called ''Kissenger'', the device is designed to connect distant loved ones, with a cyber-smooch. Tara Cleary reports.
Luo Weiwei is sending a kiss to her boyfriend long distance. Lei Lei can feel the smooch hundreds of miles away. 'Kissenger', short for Kiss Messenger, is a device that lets couples in love connect through cyberspace. Made from a special silicon, Kissenger's lips are connected to sensors. The sensors detect a kiss' pressure points and transmits them to a receiving Kissenger. The recipient has merely to place their lips or cheek against the lips of their own machine ... and the kiss is reproduced. Creator Hooman Samani says his machine is the result of exhaustive kissing studies from both biological and psychological points of view. SOUNDBITE: HOOMAN SAMANI, KEIO-NUS CUTE CENTER RESEARCH FELLOW, SAYING (English): "After investigating that for almost two years, we have started to make our initial high fidelity design, and later we did some user studies in order to make the minimal design to see what are the important parameters in kissing, which can be applied to a robotic device." Lei Lei loves Kissenger almost as much as he loves his girlfriend. SOUNDBITE: LEI LEI, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONAL, SAYING (English): "She's not here, but I can kiss her, I can feel her kiss, it's an interesting experience, so it's something they can work on if they have an iPhone version, I may be using it quite a lot. It's something exciting, something new, something others don't have, very interesting." 'Kissenger' isn't yet market-ready but Samani says he's confident his machine will one day become a must-have accessory for long-distance lovers.