The ‘Kissenger’ Delivers Make Out Sessions Right From Your iPhone

A pad filled with sensors allows for real-time, long-distance love

Dec 27, 2016 at 1:13 PM ET

If you’re miles away from your special someone on New Year’s, fret not, a new device could some day let you smooch exactly at midnight.

Emma Yann Zhang, a computer science PhD student at City University London, created a two-way kiss transmitter called the Kissenger that aims to let long-distance couples get intimate. The device is a simple silicon pad that connects to the audio jack of an iPhone. When a user presses his or her lips against it, the pad sends semi-realistic smooches to the other person’s pad.

Zhang embedded high precision sensors under the silicon pad that measure dynamic forces to different parts of the user’s actual lips. That way, when the two partners are kissing, it acts to simulate a real life kiss.

Couples could technically also use this device to enhance their camera and phone sex, according to Zhang. The Kissenger comes with an app that lets users video chat in real time. The couple’s eyes would be at the same level while their lips are virtually locked.

The device isn’t on the market yet, since it’s still going through tests in which Zhang and her team will analyze data related to blood pressure and heart rate to see how much pleasure people get from the experience.

Zhang said the Kissenger is not strictly made for couples. It could also be used to send family and friends more chaste kisses on the cheek, and she created an app that allows users to join the Kissenger community and connect with friends and family. Another possible use is as a marketing tool. For example, she thinks the kissing silicon pad could be used by celebrities who want to get closer to fans. Just imagine how many tweens would line up to receive a virtual smooch from Justin Bieber.

This is not the first kissing machine of its kind, though. In 2012, a group of researchers who love robots created the “Kissinger,” a similarly-named device that transmits kissing patterns, but looks like a cow or a bunny.