There is hope afterall for long-distance couples who yearn for physical affection, as a kissing device is set to change that for the better. A group of university students in China have invented a machine that lets users experience the authentic feeling of kissing a partner.
The invention, patented by the Changzhou Vocational Institute of Mechatronic Technology in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, is a 3D-lip-shaped silicon device with a mouth-shaped module that uses sensors to mimic the pressure, movement, and temperature of a kisser’s lips.
According to China’s Global Times as reported by The Independent, the kissing machine works by pairing the device with a mobile app and plugging the device into the phone’s charging port.
After pairing the device with their partner on the app, long-distance couples can “upload” their kisses using the device’s mouth-shaped module, which then transfers to the receiver’s end. The machine can even transmit the sound the user makes when they kiss.
Lead inventor Jiang Zhongli told the Global Times that he was in a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend when he came up with the idea for the device. “In my university, I was in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend so we only contacted each other through phone.”
According to the South China Morning Post, Jiang also said the device could be used to promote monogamous relationships, as it can only pair up one sender and one receiver at a time. It also requires the consent of both parties.
However, despite being somewhat a significant technological advancement, the invention has invited some unsettling reactions on the internet. One person tweeted: “These are the most mixed feelings about anything I’ve ever had.” Another said: “It convinced me again that having a long distance relationship is a pretty bad idea.”
The Big Bang Theory kissing machine
While many were unimpressed with the invention, some couldn’t help but compare it to a scene from the popular American sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Howard Walowitz, one of the show’s characters, invents a "Kissing Machine" in this scene.
Howard (Simon Helberg) creates a special contraption for his friend and colleague Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) to share some intimate moments with his girlfriend who is staying in another country. He then proceeds to use it with his best friend on the show, Raj Koothrapali (Kunal Nayyar).
Many people took to Twitter to talk about how the show "predicted" the newly invented "kissing device" years ago. One said: “Reminds me of the Big Bang Theory episode where Raj and Howard are found to use a similar device. Huh! The world really is so small.”