Researchers at the Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications are exploring the possibility of tactile communication. That is, communication by touch and without words. Everyone has experienced wordless communication of this type, whether its a reassuring hug or the sympathetic hand on the shoulder. Or, in the case of the work being done now, a box that you makeout with.
The device is a handheld plastic box that connects to a computer. On one face is an angled hard plastic straw attached to a motor. The straw is placed in the mouth of the kisser, who spins the straw with his or her (more likely “his,” let’s be honest) tongue. The spinning motion is observed by the computer, and recreated on the recipient’s box. Apparently, having someone stick an electric drill with a bendy-straw on the end into your mouth is what kissing feels like.
Some devices have already attempted to make use of osculation as a control scheme, but the kiss box differs by aiming to recreate the experience of a kiss. Through their work, the researchers explain fundamental building blocks of a kiss that they aim to recreate. Please note that the device, in its current form, does not recreate any of these elements.
“The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing, and the moistness of the tongue. If we can recreate all of those I think it will be a really powerful device.”
Generally, one assumes that emotion, a tongue, and another person are also pre-requisites for a kiss, but perhaps I am too old fashioned.
While some may see this device as lacking, that has not stopped the creators from looking forward to the future. According to them, this device has many creepy applications beyond its already unsettling concept. In their model, the kissing data entered by a user can be stored and re-created by the device. The developers already see great marketing potential with this particular feature.
“For example, if you have a popular entertainer use this device and record it, that could be hugely popular if you offer it to fans.”
This means that die-hard fans can pay to enjoy the experience of having their favorite celebrity twiddle a plastic straw in their mouths. Please take a few moments to allow the image of a sweaty man-child sitting alone, downloading a kiss-file, and then experiencing it via his makeout box.
Go on and watch the video of this ground-breaking device, and decide for yourself about the utility of plastic-box makeouts.
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