If you can’t be with your loved ones this holiday season, perhaps you’ve told them that you’re sending a kiss. But if you could really do just that—send a kiss by smashing your lips against a rubber pad that’s attached to your smartphone—would you want to?
The Kissenger (so named because it’s a “mobile kiss messenger”) could give you that awkward option. The two-way device, which allows users to simultaneously send and receive the sensation of a kiss, comes from researchers in London who work on haptics, the science of touch. Emma Yann Zhang says her kissing machine is intended to overcome problems inherent in long-distance relationships. The Kissenger, she wrote in a recent paper, provides “effective communication of deep emotions and intimacy through a multisensory internet communication experience.”