In recent years, communication has become more intimate with the advent of applications like Skype and FaceTime, but what about the longing for actual physical contact? What if you could feel a loved one's hand, or even exchange a kiss? Impossible, right?
Depends on how you look at it. While there is yet a means for exchanging real, corporal contact from two separate, remote locations, researchers from Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications Kajimoto Lab are developing convincing illusions and artificial enactments of such scenarios. Below, long distance kissing, a ticklish iPhone app, and a device for self-love (and no, not that kind of self-love).
Earlier this month, the Kajimoto Lab released footage of a device designed for "communicating with the mouth", a somewhat vulgar method for the remote simulation of french kissing. While the Kiss Transmission Device looks unappealing, it's potential applications are very interesting. As the video below poses, what if it were possible to replicate the sensation of kissing a famous heartthrob—right down to the sense of taste, breathing pattern and moistness of tongue?
If your brain is signaling the tactile feeling of a "real" physical sensation, does it matter if it's an illusion or not? The lab's tickle interface creates the mirage of real touch, via scanned images of the human palm, and a tactile vibration.
One of the foremost tools one can learn from psychological therapy is the ability to calm, or center oneself when emotionally out of whack. What if you could add a physical component to such a skill set? The Sense-Roid is a system of tactile sensors, vibrators and artificial muscles to provide those in emotional need with a "self-caress".
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