The infamous day of love is now over, so a nation can breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the ‘romantic’ re-runs Television producers spew out this time of year. I’d like to suggest a slightly less obvious way to keep the romance alive, and this involves some robotic smooching. If that pleases you, of course.
The Kissenger is a robot created by the Lovotics teams (you can tell from the name that this will be good) and is designed to look like a miniature pig. Think more Babe, Pig in the City than Napoleon from Animal Farm, and this little piggy really wants to go to market (market being a crude innuendo for your lips).
The Kissenger pig robot has silicon pads on its fake robot mouth which are ‘ultra sensitive to people lips’ (No, I have zero idea how they worked this out but I bet the behind the scenes footage is amazing!). The plan is you and your long distance love both have one of these slightly cute creatures and hook them up to Skype. You then look meaningfully into each others eyes and start to make out with the robot. They even helpfully come in pink and blue colours so you know just which is the girl and boy-bot. Lovotics want you to ‘transfer kissing over distance’, and you can actually do this with or without a webcam. The Kissenger transfers your lip movements to the matching Kissenger so you get the same (ish) feel of when you’re making out with your partner. No, they don’t mention how tongue works, so we just won’t go there.
They also have a video demo of it in action, and as well as questionable music choice it makes it look like you’re getting tiny electric shocks everytime you press your pout to the silicon pads.
One of the best parts of the product description is when they mention that the Kissenger allows for the ‘Human to Robot kiss: enabling an intimate relationship with a robot, such technology provides a new facility for closer and more realistic interactions between humans and robots. In this scenario, one set of artificial lips is integrated in a humanoid robot.‘ Sounds like someone might be working on a human sized plaything.. perhaps?
They also suggest that the Kissenger could provide kissing options to online gaming, where ‘humans can kiss virtual characters while playing games and receive physical kisses from their favorite virtual characters.’ I can’t even begin to start punning here or I’ll never stop, so I’ll just list a few online games that *might* think to use this tool.
- Final Fantasy
- World of War (think of the alternate spelling) Craft
- FarmVille (hey, people love to play this, and the Kissenger does look like a pig)
OK, that’s out my system now. What do you think? I’m a little creeped out by kissing a robot even if I was looking at my boyfriend on Skype and the idea of making out with a pig without even a camera seems surreal. It may be the only way for long distance people to really connect though, so should we celebrate this- or just worry/imagine all the other related things that are being created now?
Let me know what you think!