Simulated Kissing Over the Internet

Nadine Roestenburg
December 31st 2016

Long distance relationships have a bad rap, but will become more and more easier to maintain with new tools and technologies that aim to compensate the lack of physical intimacy. After calling, texting, chatting, video chatting, teledildonics (interactive and touch emulating sex toys) and sync-watching TV series while miles apart, you can kiss your beloved one over the Internet from wherever you are with Kissenger.

Kissenger mimics a kiss using force sensors and actuators to reproduce a two-way interacted kiss in real time. In 2011, Nobuhiru Takahashi invented the Remote Kissing Device, an Internet French kissing device that transfers motion via a rotating bended straw. While Kissenger is a little less like twirling your tongue around a straw, it does not support French kisses and can only transmission motion; no smell, taste or moisture as Takahashi hoped for. Its developers not only suggest Kissenger for long-distance lovers, you can also kiss your family, children, or favourite celebrity. All you need to do is plug Kissenger in your phone’s headphone jack and start kissing away. It should also be possible to store your best kisses and save them for later.

The short documentary, The Digital Love Industry (2014) mentioned that virtual reality was soon going to crash our lives in a way we never even imagined. "Meeting your dream partner could be as easy as slipping on Oculus Rift". So far, that didn’t happen. We were promised VR sex beyond our imagination but all we got was a prototype of Kissenger. Would you rather buy a plane ticket?

Source: Kissenger. Image: Mirror

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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