China has innovated a kissing machine for long-distance relationships in order to allow two partners to kiss comfortably while far away from each other.
According to the Guardian News Agency, the device, which transmits users’ kiss data collected through motion sensors hidden in silicon lips, makes sounds and warms up slightly when kissed.
The ‘MUA’ device is the name that was named after the sound people commonly make when blowing a kiss also captures and replays sound and warms up slightly during kissing, making the experience more authentic, said Beijing-based Siweifushe.
Users can even download kissing data submitted via an accompanying app by other users.
The innovation was inspired by lockdown isolation. At their most severe, China’s lockdowns saw authorities forbid residents to leave their apartments for months on end.
“I was in a relationship back then, but I could not meet my girlfriend due to lockdowns,” inventor Zhao Jianbo said.
Then a student at the Beijing Film Academy (BFA), he focused his graduate project on the lack of physical intimacy in video calls. He later set up Siweifushe which released MUA, its first product, on 22 January. The device is priced at 260 yuan (Ksh 5 million).
In a statement, Zhao Jianbo said that in the two weeks after its release, the firm sold over 3,000 kissing machines and received about 20,000 orders.
The ‘MUA’ resembles a mobile stand with colourless pursed lips standing out from the front. To use it, lovers must download an app onto their smartphones and pair their kissing machines. When they kiss the device, it kisses back.
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The innovative device is available in several colours with the same unisex lips. It has received mixed reviews, with some users saying it was intriguing whereas others said it made them feel uncomfortable. Among the top complaints was its lack of tongue.
“Very uncomfortable, it does not feel like a real kiss,” they said on the Chinese online shopping platform, Taobao.
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Some commentators on the social media site Weibo also expressed concern that the device could be used for online erotic content, which is strictly regulated in China.
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Zhao said that his company complies with regulations, but that there is little we can do as to how people use the device.
MUA is not the first remote kissing device. Researchers at Tokyo’s University of Electra-Communications innovated a “kiss the transmission machine” in 2011, and Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute made a similar machine called the “Kissinger” in 2016.
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