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Robotic tongue developed for online kissing

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May 4, 2011

A student at Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications has invented a robotic tongue de...

A student at Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications has invented a robotic tongue device for online kissing (Image: DigInfo News)

Services such as Skype have certainly made things a little easier for geographically-separated romantic partners, but when the tele-chat is over and it's time to say good night, sometimes a little air kiss blown towards a webcam just isn't enough. While there are products that cater for the long-distance physical needs of couples, those might be a bit much for everyday situations. There's also the KissPhone, which attempts to simulate the sensation of one partner's lips against the other's. Sitting between those two extremes, however, is the "Kiss Transmission Device" – a prototype gizmo designed to allow its users to virtually lock tongues.

The KTD is designed "for communications within the mouth, in other words, the goal is to obtain the feeling of kissing," according to its inventor, Nobuhiro Takahashi, an Information Systems graduate student at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo.

The system consists of two computer-connected bilaterally-controlled devices, each one with its own motorized, bent tubular "tongue." As one user rotates their device's tongue inside their mouth, the tongue on the other device moves in the same way – given that the tongues appear not to be able to extend or twist, the possibilities for individual "artistic expression" seem to presently be pretty limited. In the future, however, Takahashi would like bring factors like taste, breath and mouth moisture into the mix. A tonguier-looking and -feeling tongue might be a good idea, too.

Once the device is better developed, he sees it potentially being used not only by couples, but also by celebrities. Pop stars, for instance, could "record" a French kiss on the device, which their eager fans could then play back in their mouths. No ... really.

Although both devices are currently connected to the same computer, Takahashi believes it would be easy enough for them to communicate via the internet, on two separate machines. Combined with something like the wriggling, creepy-looking Telenoid R-1 telepresence doll, the possibilities of the technology could be very ... well, we'll just let you pick your own word.

Source: DigInfo News

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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2 Comments

A broad-spectrum  medical treatment for thrill-seeking (crime, drug addiction, unwanted perversions) now exists: a human pheromone, the healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid 'kissing daddy's face' pheromone.  Perhaps due to differing metabolic/neuronal pathways, alcoholism is unaffected by pheromone treatment.  One dose of 150-250 mg provides permanent relief of even the most obdurate cases.  

See:

Nicholson, B. 1984;  Does kissing aid human bonding by semiochemical  addiction?   British Journal  of  Dermatology  111(5):623-627.

Nicholson, B. 2011:  Of Love 2nd Edition  Textbook of medical science:  exocrinology.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456564889

BBC-TV interview



typical anecdote



TogetherinParis
5th May, 2011 @ 12:10 am PDT

online kiss? i think that has already lose all the fun of kiss itself. Technology should not replace the most basic physical feeling, like kiss, touch or even sex. image that if let you have sex online, you will do that.

iverson
5th May, 2011 @ 11:11 pm PDT
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