Robot Phone Device Transmits Kisses to Your Loved Ones When You’re Away

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By Rhett Jones – December 25, 2016 – Gizmodo


Photo: Emma Yann Zhang


Holidays can be a rough time for those who are truly married to their jobs but also have a human that they love in their spare time. Enter the Kissenger, a new smartphone peripheral that allows anyone to send a smooch live via video chat.

Named after former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger* who rained bombs on millions of people from half a world away, the device is simple. It’s a little larger than a protective case and has an oval silicon “lip” at the bottom. High precision force sensors register a user’s lip movements and miniature linear actuators replicate those movements on the device of the person being kissed.

It’s easy to imagine that this could make lovers feel like kids again, always anticipating that moment of the kiss. An awkward conversation plays out about how the flight was, while their eyes drift towards that big, freshly sterilized silicone pad. Waiting, longing.

But, Kissenger is more than just a way to maintain intimacy. Emma Yann Zhang, the creator of the device, presented it at this week’s Love and Sex with Robots conference. She believes that humans will inevitably become more intimate with A.I. or robots and that the ability to share a kiss could be an important factor in that bond. She also makes it clear in a recent report that “this research will not attempt to conclude whether it is ethically acceptable to have intimate relationships with robots.”

As with any communication technology, the project is also about collecting data. Researchers will record statistics with help of best heart rate monitors and watches about blood pressure and heart rate in lab tests to see if users can be affected in the same way that they are by a real kiss. And eventually, Kissinger’s creators hope to pass the Turing test. Will lab subjects be able to tell the difference between a kiss from a person and a kiss from a computer simulation?

Kissinger is Zhang’s PhD project and she plans to continue with her research at the City University London lab of Adrian Cheok. We probably shouldn’t expect a product for consumers very soon.

*this project is not named after Henry Kissinger, its name is a combination of kiss and messenger.

Sex robots would give us only what we think we want, and not what we truly desire

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By Rowan Pelling – 21 December, 2016 – The Telegraphy


A robot built to look like Scarlett Johansson. She was not involved in its creation
A robot built to look like Scarlett Johansson. She was not involved in its creation. CREDIT: BOBBY YIP/REUTERS


Nothing says Christmas like a conference called “Love and Sex with Robots”. While many spent the week contemplating the birth of a baby two millennia ago, Goldsmiths University played host to the second international congress on congress with machines. One of the team said drily that it was great to see such a large number of journalists at a specialist academic gathering.

I can’t have been the only person to have shifted guiltily in my lecture theatre seat. There’s no doubt the topics under discussion were fascinating for anyone familiar with Blade Runner, Westworld, Humans and even Austin Powers, where human attraction to robots is a key theme. A study cited by one of the speakers reported that around 40 per cent of men would happily purchase a sex robot given half a chance.

At this point an American colleague looked up (“The World’s First Sex Robot”) on her mobile and showed me a 10-grand example of their wares, who bore a startling resemblance to Melania Trump. Then Emma Yann Zhang, a computer science PhD student, took to the floor to demonstrate her “Kissinger” device, which transmits simulated lip-on-lip pressure to loved ones via a mobile phone app. You rather wonder what the not-entirely-peacenik Henry K makes of his smooching namesake.

Send pecks to long-distance lovers with Kissenger

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By Daniel Casillas – January 10, 2017 – Metro World News—mTAkApxzh7VXI/



Social media and apps can let us feel close to our partners, even if they are living in another city or country. But what’s missing is physical contact. That is why researchers at the City University London have created Kissenger, a gadget designed in the form of a smartphone case that features an oval rubber “lip” at the bottom. Special sensors on it are able to register users’ movements and kisses’ pressure. The device then transmits pecks directly to a recipient. Metro spoke with Emma Yann Zhang, co-creator of Kissenger, to learn more about the device.

Why did you create this device?

Actually, my professor Adrian David Cheok is the inventor of Kissenger. He came up with the original idea of a machine that allows people to share a kiss with each other over the internet. The Kissenger device was built for people to better express intimacy and emotions remotely through long-distance kissing. It aims to fill in the missing dimension of touch in traditional digital communication, which largely focuses on verbal and audio information. We believe that physical touch is the most important channel to communicate one’s emotions and to maintain close relationships with your loved ones on the other side of the world.

Do you believe in long distance relationships?

I believe in long distance relationships because I have been in a five year long distance relationship myself. The most difficult thing for me was the lack of physical intimacy, and I think this is a problem not just for long distance lovers, but also for families (parents and children) living apart due to work reasons.

How does Kissenger work?

The device simulates human kissing. It has a lip-like interface made of a soft rubber material, that interacts with the user’s lips and measures their pressure with force sensors. Underneath the lip interface there is an array of actuators that generate real-time force feedback on various points of the partner’s lips to replicate the pressure sensations of kissing. This interaction is bi-directional, so you can feel your partner’s lip pressure at the same time.

Do pecks sent over Kissenger feel real?

Many people who tried it felt that although it is not as realistic as a real kiss (because of the lack of temperature, moisture, etc.), the idea of having  your loved ones on the other side of the world receiving these pecks has a great emotional value.


The Sexbots Are Coming

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By Matthew Reisz – December 23, 2016 – The Times Higher Education World University Ranking
Sex robot. Woman in bed with robot
Source: Getty. Inhuman touch: sex with machines ‘more convenient’, says computing scholar

The strange new world of cyborg mermaids, “teledildonics” and Japanese robots modelled on Scarlett Johansson came under academic scrutiny at a conference last month.

The International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots had already been banned in Malaysia and was described by a British tabloid newspaper as a “sex festival”, but its second annual event nonetheless went ahead as planned at Goldsmiths, University of London on 19 and 20 December.

In her opening keynote speech, co-organiser Kate Devlin, senior lecturer in computing at Goldsmiths, noted that “sex tech” now represents “a $30 billion [£24 billion] global market”. Yet this market attracts polarised reactions.

On the one hand, explained Dr Devlin, there were techno-optimists such as David Levy, CEO of Intelligent Toys, whose 2007 book Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships saw great therapeutic potential in robots for those otherwise unable to find a partner and predicted that “the first human-robot marriage will take place in the state of Massachusetts around the year 2050”.

Opposed to him were activists such as Kathleen Richardson, senior lecturer in the ethics of robotics at De Montfort University, who has spearheaded the Campaign against Sex Robots, on the grounds that they “objectify women” and “raise issues of slavery and parallels with sex work”.

Dr Devlin wanted to get away from the image of sex robots created essentially for men’s pleasure and asked: “Why do we gender robots at all?” If we are already, she continued, “providing robots for care and companionship in old people’s homes, why not sex tech too?” Furthermore, if robots ever became genuinely conscious or self-aware, that would raise a host of additional issues.

Dr Devlin posed the questions: “Will robots have to give consent? What if they prefer sex with each other? And do they have a right to a family life?”

Jessica Szczuka, a researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen, reported on evidence that the market for sex robots constituted “more than only a fringe group”. In a sample of 263 heterosexual men, just over 40 per cent “could imagine buying a sex robot over the next five years” – and it seemed not to matter whether they were in a relationship or currently claimed to be enjoying a good sex life.

Emma Yann Zhang, a PhD student at the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia, described the work they were carrying out on Kissinger, “the world’s first mobile kiss messenger”.

Participants put their lips to a device that can transmit the exact patterns of pressure to a partner on the other side of the world. This can be combined with a video call and a sniff of the person’s perfume (or even their body odour) to create a fuller sensory experience.

“People don’t understand the social meaning of such digital kissing,” reflected Ms Zhang. Women from Muslim backgrounds, brought up never to have any physical contact with men before marriage, seemed to have no hesitation at “kissing” colleagues in this way, she said.

There might also be a role for Kissinger in online dating, so potential partners could have that crucial first kiss before actually meeting up, she suggested.

The conference featured some startling predictions about what the future of sex might bring.

Dr Levy recalled that his PhD thesis, Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners, had brought the University of Maastricht “more publicity than any other in its history”.

In the past decade, “the trend of robotics research and development, from industrial robots to service robots to companion and carer robots, has as its logical continuation the design and construction of robots sufficiently human-like and sufficiently appealing in various ways to take on the role of a partner in a relationship with a human being”, he said. Now “sex with robots is just around the corner, with the first sexbots coming from Abyss Creations in California some time next year”, Dr Levy added.

As same-sex marriage has gained rapid and widespread acceptance, attitudes to relationships between humans and robots could evolve equally rapidly, he argued.

Adrian Choek, professor of pervasive computing at City, University of London, believed that “robot sex will become so much easier and more convenient”, although people might use a human partner for an occasional treat – just as those who generally listen to recorded music go to a live concert once a year.

Yet amid these startling scenarios, other contributions reminded us just how strange and individual human sexual preferences can be. Asked what they would look for in a sex robot, one female panellist wanted one “looking like an Avatar”, as portrayed in James Cameron’s 2009 science fiction film of the same name. Another female panellist expressed a preference for “something I could cuddle, something soft, silky and squishy – except in the places it needs to be not squishy”.

Kissenger: The iPhone app with an associated gadget that acts as a ‘kiss messenger’

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30 Dec 2016 , 10:22 – Tech 2


Image: Kissenger

You can now send a physical kiss to your long-distance lover over the internet, thanks to a new smartphone gadget developed by researchers.

The device, known as Kissenger, works with pressure sensors and actuators.

It records the user’s kiss and transmits it to an identical receiving device, which recreates it for the person on the other end through an app that also features videocalling.

“Kissing is the most direct and universal expression of intimacy and affection,” said Emma Yann Zhang, who worked on the prototype as PhD student at City University London.

“It’s a way for us to bond and maintain intimacy in our relationships,” she said.

“Also, it stresses reducing; when we engage in this kind of intimate physical touch, we have a lower level of blood pressure,” Zhang was quoted as saying by the ‘Mirror’.

Parents can also use Kissenger to give their children a kiss on the cheek when they are away at work, researchers said.

Long-distance love made easier with Kissenger, the virtual kissing gadget

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Long-distance relationships are hard. Even though smartphones and the internet help bring us closer, physical contact can make all the difference.

A new device called Kissenger hopes to bridge the gap separating long-distance loved ones. Developed by researchers in Adrian David Cheok’s Imagineering Lab and Imagineering Institute in Iskandar, Malaysia, Kissenger simulates a kiss using pressure sensors and actuators, while users are video chatting through an iOS application.

“The Kissenger device was built for people to better express intimacy and emotion remotely through internet kissing,” Emma Yann Zhang, a PhD student at City University London, told Digital Trends. “It aims to fill in the missing dimension of touch in traditional digital communication, which largely focuses on verbal and audio information. We believe that physical touch is the most important channel to communicate one’s emotions and to maintain close relationships with your loved ones on the other side of the world.”

Kissenger isn’t the first of such devices to emerge from the Imagineering Lab. Cheok’s past projects have included the Huggy Pajama and RingU, both of which digitally transmit the sensation of touch from one wearer to another.

To be sure, these devices aren’t exclusively designed for couples. Zhang insists families could benefit from the added affection as well. And it apparently isn’t limited to human-human interaction, either.

The researchers demonstrated Kissenger last month at the Love and Sex With Robots conference in London, where experts and enthusiasts discussed the growing implications of sexualized androids. In that vein, the Imagineering Lab is also planning to integrate the device into a kissing humanoid robot with interactive lips. “With new types of technologies and interfaces that enable physical intimacy between humans and robots,” Zhang said, addressing a subject that remains controversial, “I believe that we can form more humanistic and intimate relationships with robots.”

For now the researchers are looking for commercial partners and investors to bring Kissenger to market so you too can soon smooch your long distance partner.

Kissinger, il dispositivo che invia i baci con lo smartphone

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Una superficie in silicone registra pressione e durata del bacio per poi riprodurla su un dispositivo simile




Non è facile esprimere i propri sentimenti in chat. Quando le parole non bastano siamo soliti ricorrere alle emoji ma se anche queste non sono abbastanza, cosa fare? Bé, c’è Kissinger.

Curiosa idea made in UK, è una cover che si connette al telefono e ti permette di spedire baci realistici a un altro utente dotato del Kissinger. La cover, sotto, ha una parte in silicone dotata di pistoncini e sensori su cui poggiare le labbra. Questa registra pressione e durata del bacio mentre il destinatario può poggiare la superficie in silicone su labbra o guancia per sentire sulla pelle una riproduzione del bacio ricevuto.

Va detto che al momento Kissinger è solo un prototipo, non può essere acquistato e, a dirla tutta, non sappiamo neanche quanto il bacio sia realistico. Per saperlo bisognerà aspettare che gli ideatori, due ricercatori dell’Imagineering Lab della City University of London, lo facciano diventare realtà. Per ora quindi non ci rimane che consultare il sito web dedicato per conoscere ogni aggiornamento in merito.


Agora já é possível beijar à distância pelo telemóvel

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2016-12-29 13:21 – Redação / CS

Kissenger é um novo aparelho que permitirá aos utilizadores enviarem e sentirem beijos à distância


Kissenger. (reprodução vídeo Youtube)

Batizado como Kissenger, uma mistura de Kiss (beijo) com Messenger, este novo aparelho permite aos utilizadores beijarem-se à distância.

O aparelho, que é uma espécie de almofada em silicone, deve ser acoplado ao smartphone. Para enviar um beijo, terá de beijar a almofada e esperar que a pressão seja identificada pela aplicação. Depois de identificada, o sinal é enviado para outro dispositivo e o beijo será reproduzido da forma mais real.

De acordo com o Mashable, o aparelho criado por estudantes universitários, em Londres, ainda é um protótipo e parece só estar disponível para iOS.

Kissenger permite beijar à distância

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29.12.2016 às 10h08 – Exame Informática

Ogadget Kissenger tem sensores e simuladores que permitem a um utilizador beijá-lo e a outro, à distância, receber esse beijo. O beijo “digital” não envolve língua e replica um beijo na face ou nos lábios, explica o The Verge.

O aparelho é comercializado em conjunto com uma app e consiste num pedaço de silicone que deve ser ligado a um tablet através da entrada jack 3,5mm, habitualmente dedicada aos auscultadores. O utilizador deve encostar os seus lábios ao silicone que mede a pressão em determinados pontos e replica-a no Kissenger do recetor.

Nesta fase, ainda não passa de um protótipo, criado apenas para iOS, e não há qualquer indicador sobre a disponibilidade comercial deste gadget.

Veja um vídeo publicado pelo The Gadget Show, no YouTube, sobre o Kissenger.


Kissenger, um mensageiro que ‘entrega’ beijos à distância

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 – Economia Online – 30 Dezembro 2016

Mandar um beijo a quem está longe, e essa pessoa sentir o beijo que lhe mandou. Será possível? Há quem diga que sim, com o “Kiss messenger”.

Setem uma relação à distância, o “kiss messenger” foi feito para si: a invenção permite-lhe enviar beijos para quem quiser através de um iPhone.

Uma das missões dos gadgets de hoje em dia é adicionar um toque humano às conversações, revela o Mashable. O Kissenger é o “kiss messenger” que promete reproduzir o seu beijo no dispositivo da pessoa a quem quer enviá-lo. É uma almofada em silicone que regista a pressão dos seus lábios para a aplicação e se adapta aos telemóveis como se fosse uma extensão.


A pessoa a quem se destina este “beijo” pode depois pressionar esta almofada contra os seus lábios e recebê-lo desta forma, mas ainda não é certo quão real este beijo pode vir a parecer.

Segundo o site Mashable, o Kissenger ainda é um protótipo, disponível apenas para iPhones — mais tarde, pode vir a ser adaptado para outro tipo de telemóveis. Liga-se aos aparelhos através da entrada para os auscultadores e foi criado pelos académicos do Imagineering Lab da City University, em Londres.

Editado por Mariana de Araújo Barbosa (

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