Oh Japan, you never cease to amaze me — especially when it comes to kissing. You would think a Kiss Transmission Device that lets you make out over the Internet would be the end-all, be-all of kooky kissing contraptions.
But that's the great thing about Japanese researchers and developers. Just when you think they can't possibly come up with anything zanier than a long-distance French-kissing device, they do.
In what has been and, I assume, will continue to be, a long line of artificial pseudo-sexual simulations from the Land of the Rising Sun, comes a kissable poster, compliments of a research group at Keio University.
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Remember when you were just a teenager in love? — twirling the phone cord (what's that?) around your finger; mooning over your school-girl crush, just wishing that the Corey Haim poster on your wall would come alive. Remember?
Apparently the Keio researchers do because that's basically their inspiration for this system. However, having procured his License To Drive the streets of teen idol heaven, Justin Bieber is more likely to be the dreamy face on those posters nowadays.
"I'm a big fan of pop idols, and I have posters of them in my room," researcher Keidai Ogawa explained in a promo video. "It bugged me that the posters didn't move at all. We built this system because we thought, if a poster could move to match people's movements, that would be interactive and fun."
While kissing an actual person can also be interactive and fun, let's at least hear how it works.
"This system is very simple," Ogawa said. "There's an ultrasound sensor here, to detect how far away your head is. As you approach the sensor, the picture changes. When you get closer, the picture becomes a kissing face, and when you move away, it becomes a blushing face."
As the researchers plan to develop an iPad application, they're also interested in incorporating more features to arouse your senses. The scent of shampoo from a person's hair, a lemon-flavored film on the screen lips or a kisser who whispers "I love you" are all being considered.
Having the desire to kiss a screen avatar is beyond me, but I'm certainly not going to throw stones. Kissing is important, so if you need to lock lips with a machine or screen just to keep sane, I say go for it. I mean, Digital Underground wrote a whole song about it. In fact, Keio researchers, next time you're throwing one of your dance-a-thon ragers, get the party started and throw "Kiss You Back" on the stereo. It might help you find a more realistic partner.
Credit: Pochuter, DigInfoTV