Want to send a kiss to your distant lover? A Chinese contraption with hot, moving silicone “lips” seems to have the answer.
The device, advertised as a way for long-distance couples to share “real” physical intimacy, has been buzzing among Chinese social media users, who reacted with both intrigue and shock.
Equipped with pressure sensors and actuators, the device would be able to mimic a real kiss by replicating the pressure, movement and temperature of a user’s lips.
In addition to the kissing motion, it can also transmit the sound made by the user.
However, while many social media users saw a fun side to the device, others criticized it as “vulgar” and “creepy”. Some have expressed concern that minors might buy and use it.
“I don’t understand (the device) but I’m completely shocked,” said one of the top commenters on Weibo.
On the Twitter-like platform, several hashtags on the device have racked up hundreds of millions of views over the past week.
To send a kiss, users need to download a mobile phone app and plug the device into their phone’s charging port. After pairing up with their partners in the app, couples can start a video call and send lines of their kisses to each other.
According to the Chinese newspaper Global Times, the invention was patented by the Professional Institute of Mechatronic Technology in Changzhou.
“At my university, I was in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend, so we only had contact by phone. That’s where the inspiration for this device came from,” said Jiang Zhongli, the main inventor of the design, quoted by the Global Times.
He said Jiang applied for the patent in 2019, but the patent ended in January 2023 and Jiang now hoped someone else could develop and perfect the design.
A similar invention, thekisswas launched by the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia in 2016. But it came in the form of a tactile silicone pad, rather than realistic lips.
Although advertised for long-distance relationships, the Chinese device also allows users to partner anonymously with strangers in the app’s “kissing square” feature. If two strangers successfully hit it off and like each other, they may ask to kiss.
Users can also “upload” their smooches into the app for others to download and experience.
On China’s largest online shopping site, Taobao, dozens of users shared their reviews of the device, which is priced at 288 yuan ($41).
“My partner didn’t believe that (long distance) kisses could be achieved at first, so her jaw dropped when she used it… It was the best surprise I gave her during our long distance relationship” , said one user. commented.
“Thank you technology.”