Sex robot MUM? Laws ‘should change so we can MARRY and RAISE CHILDREN with bots’

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By SEAN MARTIN – EXPRESS

MARRIAGE between robots and humans will soon be the norm and we should be allowed to raise children with them, an expert has stated.

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Doctor David Levy said that laws will be changed to allow humans to marry robots
Doctor David Levy, author of the New York Times Best Seller ‘Love and Sex with Robots’, has said that laws will soon be adjusted to allow humans to marry robots.Dr Levy was speaking at a congress named after his book title, when he told the audience that he is an advocate of human-robot marriage when a sufficient level of artificial intelligence is developed.The author was highlighting the changes in marriage laws over the past few decades in regards to marriage between two men or two women, and believes that people who love machines will soon be afforded the same rights.

He went even further by saying that a parent duo consisting of human and machine would be equally qualified to raise a child as two humans would.

Dr Levy said in a speech titled ‘Why Not Marry a Robot?’: “Surely what is important here, is that it is not the gay or straight nature of the parents, but that both parents are conscientious and nurturing.

“Just as a gay or lesbian couple are capable of being perfectly good parents to a child, there seems to be to me no valid reason that a sophisticated robot in decades to come cannot be a partner and provision of good parenthood.”

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The point of the conference where Dr Levy was speaking was to discuss the future of sex robots
He added that once AI is at a level where it interacts at a human level, with emotion and humour and without prompting, then it should be perfectly normal for man and machine to tie the knot.The point of the conference was to discuss the future of sex robots – and Dr Levy says sex with robots is “just around the corner”.However, he believes that once robots are given consciousness and are able to make competent and uninfluenced decisions, then they should virtually be treated as humans where the same laws should apply.Dr Levy said: “We’re being forced to contemplate what human-robot relationships will be like a generation or two from now.”

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Dr Levy concluded: ‘When the law allows it, why not marry a robot?’

He continued: “As love and sex with robots becomes more commonplace =85 we should come face to face of the very real possibility with marriage with robots.”When robots are sufficiently human-like, sufficiently appealing socially, to the point where they can act as our companions, why not extend that companionship to marriage if neither party is against the idea?”As more and more people come accept the concepts of sex and love with robots, so societies will develop laws that govern-human robot relationships.

Future of romance? A THIRD imagine humans will fall IN LOVE with robots in the future

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By SEAN MARTIN – EXPRESS

OVER a third of people imagine that human beings will one day be falling in LOVE with robots, it has been revealed.

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 A third of people believe they can imagine a point where humans fall in love with machine
A staggering amount of humans believe that civilisation is heading to a point where there is virtually no difference between love between two humans and love between a human and a robot.The possibility of robots, specifically sex dolls, infiltrating human emotions is certainly on the horizon, with expert Dr David Levy stating that humans will be marrying robots by 2050. 

While the idea sounds like it comes straight from sic-fi fantasy, it is certainly a real prospect with over a third of people believing that they can imagine a point where humans fall in love with machine.

Speaking at the Love and Sex with Robots congress at Goldsmiths University, London, Emma Yann Zhang revealed that people believe that more likely to feel that “emotional involvement is favoured over physical involvement”.

Ms Zhang revealed in a flash, abstract study that 35 per cent of people can imagine other humans falling in love with robots, while just 28 per cent could imagine a point where others are getting intimate with machine, implying that people are more likely to use sex robots to help cure loneliness.

The participants reacted positively to emotional and physical bonding with robots

Emma Yann Zhang

Ms Zhang, who was presenting the research on behalf of Chamari Edirisinghe, from the National University of Singapore, who was unable to make it to the conference, said: “Throughout the analysis of the study, the participants distanced themselves from being involved intimately with robots.”The majority of the participants reacted positively to emotional and physical bonding with robots in abstract, distant level.”

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There has been a frenzy recently with many believing that sex robots will replace human intimacy completely in the future, but Ms Zhang disagrees with this.She told a conference: “In the future, we think that once we have this technology everyone will be doing it.”But I don’t think that is true.”I think it will be for a certain group of people.

Sex robot shocker: Almost HALF of all men will use erotic robot playthings, says survey

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By SEAN MARTIN – EXPRESS

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A shocking new report has found that almost half of men, those who are single as well as in relationships, could buy a sex robot within the next five years.Jessica Szczuka, from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, co-authored research which focused on what is likely to influence men as to whether to buy a sex robots.Machines that look like women for sexual purposes are on the rise, and in countries such as Japan, it has already led to a decline in traditional sexual encounters between human beings.

However, the trend is on its way to Europe and the US and it is beginning to pick up pace.

While many people would have the mindset that sex robots are for the lonely, new research suggests otherwise.

A staggering 40.3 per cent of the 263 straight males that were surveyed for Ms Szczuka’s research said that they could imagine using a sex robot within the next five years.

Ms Szczuka added that there were no differences between the responses of men who were in a relationship and those who were single.

If people have the guts to say ‘yeah I could imagine that’, thats a good sign

Jessica Szczuka

However, she added that that number might actually be higher in reality as participants might have lied.Speaking at the Love and Sex With Robots congress at Goldsmiths University in London, shequipped: “If people have the guts to say ‘yeah I could imagine that’, thats a good sign”.

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Ms Szczuka also believes that as people become more familiar with robots, that number “will double over time”.

While just under half of men could imagine buying a sex robot within five years, more than two thirds of males could imagine using them.

Ms Szczuka said that the most likely people to use one will be socially anxious people.

She said: “Someone with a fear of rejection could control the robot because the robot would never reject them.”

If you can’t trust health-related wearables, can you trust sex robots?

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By  – Computerworld | DEC 19, 2016 9:01 AM PT

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3150876/security/if-you-cant-trust-health-related-wearables-can-you-trust-sex-robots.html

If you can’t trust health-related wearables, can you trust sex robots to be secure and protect your privacy?

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The crutches used along with the robot-legs have controls like a game controller. Engadget explained, “One button would move the left leg forward, and the other would move the right. There are also buttons for sitting down, standing up and walking up and down stairs. It’s like a game controller for getting around.”

This makes me hopeful as I know many different people who need such a device, but it may be 2019 – 2020 before H-Mex is available for purchase.

Can’t trust all health-related wearable devices

While the exoskeleton seems to be more robotic-focused than some other health-related wearable devices, not all wearable devices – such as “watches, fitness bands, and so-called ‘smart’ clothing” should be trusted. In fact, researchers at the Center for Digital Democracy and American University warned (pdf) that although the ownership of health wearable devices has nearly doubled in the past year, many pose privacy risks. Big Data – data collection and marketing – is a big part of the problem with wearables.

The CDD wrote,

As their use becomes more widespread, and as their functionalities become even more sophisticated, the extent and nature of data collection will be unprecedented. Biosensors will routinely be able to capture not only an individual’s heart rate, body temperature, and movement, but also brain activity, moods, and emotions. These data can, in turn, be combined with personal information from other sources—including health-care providers and drug companies—raising such potential harms as discriminatory profiling, manipulative marketing, and security breaches.

Trust a sex robot?

If you can’t trust your fitness band, should a person trust a sex robot? Yes, it sounds like we are moving closer to that actually becoming a thing. Even a keynote speaker at the Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots in London is concerned about personal data which will be collected – recorded and stored – and how that data will be used.

Dr. Kate Devlin, a senior lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, said, “We tick the box of the terms and conditions without checking them.” Although user feedback and aggregate anonymized data collected can be helpful to improve products, Devlin asked, “Do we want people to know when we have sex and how we have sex?”

Another speaker, Oliver Bendel of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts at Northwestern Switzerland, suggested that sex robots could “over-exert their human lovers.” Even if too much robot sex didn’t kill a person, would anyone really want that data getting out there and shared, possibly used for targeted advertisements or other marketing purposes? Bendel also raised ethical questions such as if a sex robot should have moral skills or have the ability to “entice” human lovers?

As the Mirror pointed out, there are already companies that make internet-connected sex toys; We-Vibe, for example, has been accused of collecting very personal data without user consent. There needs to be a great deal of effort put into protecting sex robot consumers’ privacy, both in the robot itself and any companion app.

When you consider how hackable most IoT products are, how much security effort will go into sex robots? Surely people wouldn’t want hackers getting hold of their intimate information from such a bot? Think about how damaging it was to some people to be exposed for having Ashley Madison accounts; the company recently agreed to pay a $1.6 million settlement related to the 2015 data breach.

If not enough thought goes into building in security from the start, could a sex robot become infected with malware and added to botnets such as Mirai? Could people really attached to their sex robot be persuaded to pay a ransomware demand to use it again?

For right now it all seems a bit too science fiction for me to take seriously, but the sex bots are going to become a thing. And even if that thing doesn’t sex you to death, or turn you into a person who prefers bots-over-humans – hey it happened on HBO’s fictional Westworld – will privacy or security be built into these bots from the ground up? Or only bolted on after some disastrous breach?

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Back to Home Beware the rise of the sex-bot – robots could ‘over-exert’ humans

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 – CBR Computer Business Review – 

 

Beware the rise of the sex-bot – robots could ‘over-exert’ humans

 

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Revelations come from the second International Congress on Love and Sex Robots conference held at Goldsmith’s University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good News: Sex Bots Just Might F*ck Everyone to Death in the Future

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BY  – COMPLEX LIFE

DEC 20, 2016

http://uk.complex.com/life/2016/12/sex-bots-death-future

 

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After this bullshit of a year, what’s next? According to Swiss researcher Oliver Bendel, a very real possibility for anyone hoping to fuck some robots is death by way of said fucking.

The Second International Congress on Love and Sex With Robots, which Gizmodoreported Monday is “a real thing,” saw Bendel advising robot coitus scholars on the dangers of not implementing some serious sex bot training before the little fuckers hit the market. “If the machine over-exerts the human, it reduces the possibility of human sex,” Bendel said.

But there’s more to the dangers of robot sex, as explained by the Register:

“The proliferation of sex-robots—presumably able to incorporate data and feedback to constantly up their game—could have a physical effect on their human lovers, and beyond, he warned. Human sexuality has certain ‘physical limits’ he said, particularly in the male of the species. Robots, on the other hand, were potentially tireless. This could have a knock-on effect for a robot’s human partner, and indeed the partner’s partner.”

Additional concerns raised during the conference included whether the bot should be “available” to a human at all times and whether the bot should be required to reveal themselves as, you know, a robot. Given that sex with human beings is generally considered a wholly underwhelming experience, the excitement surrounding the early stages of the robot-fucking industry is understandable. But getting robo-fucked to the point of exhaustion, maybe even death?

Until then, maybe invest in some affordable hologram tech for your phone and/or tablet so you can start participating in holographic cam shows.

Menschen lieben Roboter: Der Sex der Zukunft?

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30.12.2016, 14:05
VON REDAKTION CHIP/DPA – CHIP

 

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Was undenkbar klingt, ist auf der “Love and Sex with Robots”-Messe in London das zentrale Thema: Sex mit einem Roboter. Fürsprecher sind überzeugt, dass derartige Sex-Roboter gleich in mehrerer Hinsicht bereichernd wären.

 

Mensch & Maschine: Ein gutes Sex-Paar?

Der Mensch liebt seine Maschinen und bald sollen sie ihn lieben. Die Rede ist von Sexrobotern. Erste Versionen wie Roxxxy sind bereits auf dem Markt. Die äußerlich wie eine Gummipuppe anmutende Maschine kann laut Hersteller True Companion reden, zuhören und reagiert auf Berührung. Die Sexroboter wirken aber noch wenig lebensecht und sind einem stereotypen Frauenbild nachempfunden. Das Thema Erotik und Maschinen ruft nicht nur die Sex-Industrie auf den Plan, sondern auch die Wissenschaft. Ein Internationaler Kongress diese Woche in London beschäftigte sich ganz mit dem Thema «Liebe und Sex mit Robotern».
Die Fürsprecher der Sexmaschinen wie Roxxy glauben, dass sie dabei helfen könnten, Prostitution einzudämmen, Sex-Unterricht zu geben und sogar Therapien zu ermöglichen. Vor allem könnten die Roboter denjenigen Menschen ein Sexualleben ermöglichen, die bislang leer ausgehen, glaubt Kate Devlin. Die Hochschuldozentin für Computing an der Universität von London ist eine der Verantwortlichen hinter dem Kongress. Sie sagt: «Sexroboter müssen gar nicht aussehen wie Menschen, wir sind momentan nur darauf festgefahren.»
Doch es gibt auch Kritiker der Roboter-Liebe. Kathleen Richardson, Initiatorin der «Kampagne gegen Sexroboter», fordert einen Entwicklungsstopp. Sie befürchtet negative gesellschaftliche Folgen. «Es lässt die Idee zu, menschliche Beziehungen seien optional, und alle Bedürfnisse könnten von Maschinen gestillt werden. Aber das stimmt nicht. Man braucht andere Menschen», sagt sie. Außerdem könnte der Einsatz von Sex-Robotern dazu beitragen, dass Menschen, vor allem Frauen, noch stärker als ohnehin schon auf Objekte reduziert werden. Dauerhaft könnte das zu mehr Ungleichheit und zu Verlust von Empathie führen, fürchtet Richardson.

“Entwicklung wird kommen”

David Levy, Experte für Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) und Autor eines einschlägigen Buches, sieht Sexroboter nicht zwangsläufig als Ersatz für menschliche Liebesbeziehungen, eher als Alternative oder Ergänzung. Die Frage sei, ob eine Beziehung mit einem Roboter besser wäre als gar keine Beziehung. Technologie ist bereits integraler Bestandteil des alltäglichen Lebens und wird dominanter. Doch möchte man Sie auch in Roboterform im Bett haben?
Die Entwicklung von intelligenter künstlicher Sexualität bringt etliche – auch ethische und politische – Fragen mit sich. «Wir befinden uns in einem frühen Stadium, wir haben all diese Fragen, die wir noch nicht beantworten können», so Devlin. Ihre größte Sorge sei das Sammeln sehr persönlicher Daten. Das erfolgt heute schon teilweise bei Sexspielzeug und könnte beispielsweise für Versicherungen interessant sein.
Wie bei allen neuen Technologien zeige sich auch hier «das Auseinanderfallen kulturpessimistischer Positionen und den eher optimistisch-gelassenen Ansichten», bringt der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sexualforschung (DGfS) Martin Dannecker die Problematik auf den Punkt. Die DGfS habe sich zum Phänomen noch keine Position erarbeitet.
Laut KI-Experte Levy ist die Entwicklung von Sexrobotern unaufhaltsam und bis spätestens 2050 Realität. Computing-Dozentin Devlin hält Sex mit Robotern für «eine Entwicklung, die kommen wird», daher sei es besser «frühzeitig einzusteigen, um sie mitzuformen», sagte sie in Bezug auf Produkte der Sex-Industrie. Wer weiß, welche Firmen nicht schon längst daran arbeiten.
Wenn es nach Devlin geht, soll es nicht nur um Sex, sondern auch um Liebe gehen. Vielleicht könnten die Maschinen der Zukunft irgendwann dank künstlicher Intelligenz sogar Gefühle und eine Art Bewusstsein ihrer selbst entwickeln. Auf die hypothetische Frage, ob sie ihre Tochter einen Roboter heiraten lassen würde, antwortet Devlin daher: «Ja warum nicht? Wenn es sie glücklich machen würde.»

Dank Technik: Schon heute den richtigen Partner finden

Auch wenn Experten wie David Levy die Entwicklung von Sexrobotern für unaufhaltsam halten und sie bis spätestens 2050 in der Realität verankert sehen, dürften bis zur Produktion wirklich menschenähnlicher Exemplare noch einige Jahre vergehen. Wer sich alleine fühlt und sich einen Partner wünscht, sollte bis dahin nicht warten und jetzt reagieren.
Vielfach geprüft und mehrfach als Testsieger gekührt hat sich Lovescout24 (ehemals Friendscout24) zur größten Single-und Datingbörse Deutschlands entwickelt. Knapp 1 Millionen aktive, registrierte Singles tummeln sich auf der Datingplattform in Deutschland. Die Chance unter ihnen den richtigen Partner zu finden, steigt mit jedem weiteren Mitglied. Wer dahinter Abzocke vermutet kann beruhigt sein. Die Registrierung ist komplett kostenlos, sodass man gleich nach der Anmeldung mit der Partnersuche beginnen kann.

New Kissenger gadget lets you smooch through your phone screen

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BY  | Birmingham Mail | 22:12, 20 DEC 2016 | UPDATED 22:13, 20 DEC 2016

The service has reportedly been knocking around university research labs for the last few years – and aims to let couple kiss each other through the internet.

It’s a brightly-coloured smartphone holster with an inviting plastic pad attached to the bottom.

You lock lips with the pad and it transmits the sensation through to an identical holster and an identical pad that’s nestling your partner’s phone wherever that may be.

 

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“Kissing is the most direct and universal expression of intimacy and affection,” explained Emma Yann Zhang, who worked on the prototype.

“It’s a way for us to bond and maintain intimacy in our relationships,” she told an audience at the Love and Sex with Robots congress as Goldsmiths, University of London.

“Also, it’s stress reducing; when we engage in this kind of intimate physical touch, we have a lower level of blood pressure.”

The Kissenger works with pressure sensors and actuators that record and transmit the your kiss to the receiving device, which recreates it for the person on the other end through an app that also features videocalling.

The creators admit that there’s still a way to go when it comes to accurately creating a long-distance makeout session.

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For starters, the pad isn’t mouth-shaped (although the actuators are lined like lips) and there’s no simulation for a tongue.

But the creators insist that it’s already helping to get people accustomed to machine-based touching.

And, moreover, that it’s not being used in an overtly sexual way.

Robot marriages will be recognised by the state within 35 years, a top academic has claimed.

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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/technology/robot-marriages-will-be-recognised-by-the-state-within-35-years-a-top-academic-has-claimed/news-story/3f7a08b96ffbf7395c1e210c903762e4

 

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ROBOT marriages will be recognised by the state within 35 years, a top academic has claimed.

Following from the introduction of the first sex robots onto the market next year, owners will begin falling in love and look to take one down the aisle sooner than you think, Dr David Levy said.

The Sun reports that the best-selling author of Love and Sex with Robots claimed that politicians will have to change legislation to allow robots to wed as society begins to view artificially intelligent machines in a different way.

“As more and more people come to accept the concept of love and sex with robots, society as a whole will come to develop laws to govern human robot relationships,” he said.

“Restrictions that prevented Angela Vogel from obtaining a legal marriage license in Seattle will begin to fall by the wayside just as laws preventing interracial marriage did in the 1960s and same sex marriage during did in the past decade.”

 

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Guys, I want you to meet me wife Bertha.

 

And by the time there are no obstacles, the sex robots we are familiar with will become even more human-like and “kind, protecting and loving”.

But one major obstacle will be the Church, Dr Levy added.

“Religion is the reason to oppose same-sex marriage but not human-robot marriage,” he told a packed audience at the second ever Love and Sex with Robots conference in London on Tuesday.

And his comments have prompted backlash from Christians.

Priest Kara Slade, who was present as Dr David gave his speech, argued that “human relationships are not the same as chess computer programs”.

She added that Dr David Levy’s comments that “the bible does not say that you cannot marry humans” showed a total “misunderstanding of Christianity”.

 

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But governments may actually consider the move.

In 2012 a woman was granted the right to marry a Mr. Corporate Person: a one-and-a-half-month-old business.

Seattle councillors later voided Angela Vogel’s marriage, but not before plenty of press attention.

Dr Levy said there are three requirements for robots to marry humans: consent, understanding and the capacity to make decisions — things he believes artificial intelligence is very close to.

And when it comes to divorce, the law will have to reflect that too.

The politicians and lawyers in robot law will have to deal with divorce, he said.

However, if you’re programming your own bot, it’s likely you can customise them to want you forever, he said.

 

Sex Robots May Interfere with Human Intimacy

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Alexa Renee, KXTV 12:41 PM. PST December 20, 2016 – abc 10 (connect) A TEGNA Company

http://www.abc10.com/news/local/sex-robots-may-interfere-with-human-intimacy/373776125

 

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(Photo: Getty Images)

There’s a new fleet of robots that may make you blush.

Sex bots are not just limited to science fiction films, love service robots are under discussion for human pleasure.

The Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots is happening Dec. 19 to Dec. 20 at Goldsmiths, University of London. The event gives the academic community a chance to present ideas and innovative work on human relationships with artificial partners.

This year, there are about 100 people in attendance including tech writers, sex writers, journalists, scientists and humanities scholars.

The event features sessions on topics such as intelligent electronic sex hardware, gender approaches to robots, and teledildonics, or internet-connected sex toys.

The congress aims to peer-review material that explores the relationships between human and robots on an intimate level, which involves human emotions and feelings such as love and sex.

However, humans having sex with robots could potentially break up some marriages.

A Swiss researcher at the event warned an audience about the possibility of robots being better at sex than real people, prompting humans to have less sex with one another, according to Gizmodo.

But the researcher also said robots don’t tire out like humans, so an intimate encounter with a robot may be physically exhausting to a human partner.

If robot sex isn’t already strange enough, consider robots are high-tech machines with the ability to absorb data.

A sex bot could potentially be capable of collecting very intimate data from its human partner. Having that knowledge mean a robot could store information about people and use it for seduction, according to the researcher.

It could be quite some time before sex bots become a household item, but there are entrepreneurs already working to make money off the love robots.

A business man named Bradley Charvet recently revealed his plans to open a fellatio cafe in Switzerland using robots as escorts, according to Inverse.

A 15-minute session and a cafe americano would set a customer back €60 or about $62.

Copyright 2016 KXTV

THE ‘KISSENGER’ GADGET ALLOWS YOU TO KISS THROUGH YOUR SMARTPHONE

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TONY JAYBEE 

“Plug in to your phone and give your loved ones a kiss over the Internet.”

A gadget has been created to bring long-distance lovers even closer together – The Kissenger.

Created by Imagineering Lab, City University London, the attachment fits onto your smartphone and has a plastic pad that each user locks lips wth. The device then transmits the sensation to a paired holster with an identical pad.

“Kissing is the most direct and universal expression of intimacy and affection,” explained Emma Yann Zhang, who worked on the prototype. “It’s a way for us to bond and maintain intimacy in our relationships.” Zhang gave the presentation to an audience at the Love and Sex with Robots congress as Goldsmiths, University of London.

“Also, it’s stress reducing; when we engage in this kind of intimate physical touch, we have a lower level of blood pressure.”

The device’s Pressure sensors and actuators record and transmit your kiss to the receiving device, replicating the kiss to the recipient through an app. The app also features videocalling.

Whilst the device can accurately recreate the sensation of a quick kiss, long-distance makeout sessions are off the cards. The pad itself isn’t mouth-shaped and there is no simulation for a tongue.

Behind the creation of the device are David Cheok, Emma Yann Zhang, Yukihiro Morisawa nad Shogo Nishiguchi.

The creators also add that the device extends beyond a purely sexual function. “Parents can also use Kissenger to give their children a kiss on the cheek when they are away at work,” say its creators.

Zhang added that the next stage of the Kissenger will be to incorporate scent so you can experience the smell of the recipient of your smartphone enabled kiss.


2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony

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Each year, the University of Adelaide recognises the achievements of its most outstanding alumni at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. Awards include; Distinguished Alumni Award, James McWha Award of Excellence, Honours Alumni University Medal, Postgraduate Alumni and the University Medal and Alumni Fellows.

Interview with Professor Adrian Cheok – University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Award

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Adrian is a pioneer in mixed reality and multisensory communication; his innovation and leadership has been recognised internationally through multiple awards.
Some of his pioneering works in mixed reality include innovative and interactive games such as ‘3dlive’, ‘Human Pacman’ and ‘Huggy Pajama’. He is also the inventor of the world’s first electric and thermal taste machine, which produces virtual tastes with electric current and thermal energy.

Adrian Cheok is a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in recognition of his achievements and contribution in the field of computing, engineering and multisensory communication.

View more alumni award winners at adelaide.edu.au/alumni/recognised

Strange New Technologies Explore the World of Virtual Taste, Touch, & Smell

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By Adam Dachis

Virtual, mixed, and augmented reality all provide different but compellingly immersive experiences that draw us in through sight and sound. But what about our other senses? A few strange inventions are already exploring the possibilities.

Adrian Cheok, professor of pervasive computing at City University London and the director of Singapore’s Mixed Reality Labs, decided to figure out the best ways to connect our other senses to digital environments. That definitely includes smell and taste, along with touch, and those sensations can be a bit more difficult to “render” with technology.

Adrian Cheok demoing a couple of different devices.Image by Adrian Cheok/the Imagineering Institute

Previous attempts at recreating smell and taste required chemical emissions to provide those sensations, but that method was never practical and ultimately failed (see: Smell-O-Vision). Instead, Cheok wants to avoid creating stimuli and just manipulate your brain, as he explained in an interview with Motherboard:

We want to transmit smells without using any chemical, so what we’re going to do is use magnetic coils to stimulate the olfactory bulb part of the brain associated with smell. At first, our plan was to insert them through the skull, but unfortunately the olfactory part of the brain is at the bottom, and doing deep-brain stimulation is very difficult.

Image by Adrian Cheok/Alamy

While that might sound a little scary, the actual technology Cheok created is a little less invasive. Still, most people will likely find his current method at least a little off-putting:

Not much—magnetic fields are very safe. Anyway, our present idea is to place the coils at the back of your mouth. There is a bone there called the palatine bone, which is very close to the region of your brain that makes you perceive smells and tastes. In that way we’ll be able to make you feel them just by means of magnetic actuation.

Nevertheless, this approach points to some very interesting possibilities down the line. Because virtual worlds mostly exist for our entertainment, we easily forget that immersive headsets can subtly hack our brains. As sense-manipulating technology evolves, it will become possible to completely alter a person’s perception of reality.

That prospect is both incredible and somewhat disturbing. Cheok wants to create digital restaurant menus that let us smell each dish through our smartphones, software that makes us feel like we’re cuddling with our significant when they’re thousands of miles away, and even applications that can improve moods through target smells and tastes. Transmitting scent and tactile feeling has obvious applications in the virtual sex/pornography industry as well.

The sex industry already has a subcategory of products, known as teledildonics, for emulating touch over a distance. Companies like OhMiBod and Mojowijo offer a variety of toys to aid couples in virtual, remote sex.Image via Mojowijo

Thanks to the fine line our brains draw between the sensation of touch and pain, there may also immense benefits in the health industry—particularly when it comes to the horribly inadequate methods of pain management we currently utilize. We’re already seeing progress in this specific case with VR headsets alone.

Unfortunately, all this potential could lead to malicious uses down the line. While no technology can ever avoid that problem entirely, when it comes to literally hacking a person’s brain a lot of care will be necessary to keep users safe. It’s too early to tell if we’ll see Cheok’s inventions evolve and proliferate in consumer markets, but it won’t matter much. The methods for manipulating our senses already exist. How we use them will ultimately determine whether they’ll benefit society or pose a serious threat. If history is any indication, it’ll likely be a mix of both.

http://next.reality.news/news/strange-new-technologies-explore-world-virtual-taste-touch-smell-0172608/

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