A Chinese start-up has invented a long-distance kissing machine to battle loneliness among couples in long-distance relationships.
The device called MUA is named after the sound people commonly make when blowing a kiss.
It transmits users’ kiss data collected through motion sensors hidden in silicon lips, which simultaneously move when replaying kisses received.
MUA 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 invention was inspired by lockdown isolation when people were prevented from living their homes in China.
“I was in a relationship back then, but I couldn’t meet my girlfriend due to lockdowns,” said inventor Zhao Jianbo.
Then a student at the Beijing Film Academy, 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 ($38).
In the two weeks after its release, the firm sold over 3,000 kissing machines and received about 20,000 orders, he said.
The MUA resembles a mobile stand with colourless pursed lips protruding from the front. To use it, lovers must download an app on to their smartphones and pair their kissing machines. When they kiss the device, it kisses back.
The device is available in several colours with the same unisex lips.
MUA is not the first remote kissing device. Researchers at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications invented a “kiss transmission machine” in 2011, and Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute made a similar gadget called the “Kissinger” in 2016.