No tongue? Chinese ‘kissing’ contraption is both bizarre and lip-smackingly enticing

An inventor at a university in China has patented a contraption that mimics the sensation, and even the sound, of kissing. - SCREENGRAB FROM WEIBO

BEIJING (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): This takes “blowing a kiss” to a whole new – some say romantic, others, downright creepy – level.

An inventor at a university in China has patented a contraption that mimics the sensation, and even the sound, of kissing.

It uses silicon “lips” that move with actuators and pressure sensors, and speakers that emit the muah, smacky, slurpy sounds that accompany kisses: be it a little peck or two mouths locked in a long, drawn-out smooch.

To send this virtual kiss, users will have to download an app and attach the kissing device into their mobile phone’s charging port, and then pair their app with their partners’.

They can then start a video call and sink their lips into a soft silicon replica of lips protruding like a bird’s beak from beneath the device.

Of course, the sight of it, and people actually using it, have stirred a range of emotions, mostly in the spectrum of amused and creeped out.

“I don’t understand (the device), but I’m utterly shocked,” said one top comment on the Twitter-like Chinese platform Weibo.

Other responses were more, well, tongue in cheek.

“No tongue? I’ll wait for version 2.0,” says user BuffaloBear on the Gizmodo website.

Another user on the site, Brian_KA, said: “They should just call this thing ‘The Canadian Girlfriend.’”

There were those who were more forgiving.

“This thing could be useful if it helped people who are bad at kissing and embarrassed about it, but want to get better,” said IAmBrett, also on Gizmodo.

There’s also the enthusiastic endorsement.

One user on Taobao, China’s largest online shopping site, commented: “My partner didn’t believe that (remote) kissing could be achieved at first. So, her jaw dropped when she used it... This is the best surprise I have given her during our long-distance relationship. Thank you, technology.”

The device – which is being sold for 288 yuan (S$56) – was invented by Jiang Zhongli, of the Changzhou Vocational Institute of Mechatronic Technology.

“In my university, I was in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend. So, we only contacted each other through phone. That’s where the inspiration of this device originated,” Jiang told the Global Times.

He patented it in 2019, but that ended in January 2023, and he is hoping someone else can expand and perfect his design to make it more appealing.

Still, some 100 of his kissing devices are reportedly already being sold each month on Taobao.

Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute came up with something similar in 2016, called the “Kissenger”, though that one came with a touch-sensitive silicon pad instead of realistic-looking lips.

Jiang’s kissing device and the accompanying app aren’t just for partners. They allow users to pair up anonymously with strangers in the “kissing square”. If two strangers match successfully, and like each other, they can exchange a smooch.

They can then “upload” the kiss in the app, so that others can download it and experience it themselves.

Some may call it, mass kissing.

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China , kissing , app


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