This Chinese device allows you to “kiss” online
(CNN) – Do you want to send a kiss to your distant lover? The weird Chinese contraption with its warm, movable silicone “lips” seems to have the answer.
The device, which was advertised as a way to allow long-distance couples to share “real” physical intimacy, caused an uproar among Chinese social media users, who reacted with intrigue and shock.
The device is said to be equipped with pressure sensors, to be able to mimic a real kiss by replicating the pressure, movement and temperature of the user’s lips.
Besides the kissing motion, it can also transmit the sound made by the user.
However, while many social media users saw a fun aspect of the device, others criticized it as “tacky” and “scary”. Some expressed concern that minors could purchase and use it.
“I don’t understand (the device), but I’m totally shocked,” said one of the most prominent comments on Weibo.
On the Twitter-like platform, various hashtags about the device have garnered hundreds of millions of views over the past week.
To send a kiss, users need to download a mobile app and plug the device into their phone’s charging port. After linking up with their partners on the app, couples can start a video call and broadcast replicas of their kisses to each other.
According to China’s state-run Global Times, the invention has been patented by Changzhou Vocational Institute of Mechatronics Technology.
“At my university, I had a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend, so we only had phone contact. This is where the inspiration for this device originated,” said Jiang Chongli, the chief inventor of the design, according to the Global Times.
He said Jiang applied for a patent in 2019, but the patent expired in January 2023 and Jiang now hopes someone else can expand and improve the design.
While advertising long-distance relationships, the Chinese device also allows users to match with strangers anonymously in the app’s “kissing box” feature. If two strangers successfully match and like each other, they can ask to exchange kisses.
Users can also ‘upload’ their kisses to 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 think kissing (at a distance) was achievable at first, so he screwed it up when I used it… This is the best surprise I’ve ever given her during our long distance relationship,” comment user.
“Thank you technology.”