We are the generation of ‘always on’, always connected; whatsoever is your choice of smart device, whether you call, text, email, ping or simply update your wall, the need to connect is there.
So we connect, remotely, with everybody.
But what about physical proximity to a significant other? Another human body, a particularly loved one?
What about the need for warmth, to be hugged and to be at times, kissed? We are not always at the same material location with our dear ones and these needs and desires seem to remain unfulfilled.
Worry no longer; two new technologies are here for the rescue, the first is the Hug Shirt, awarded best invention of the year in 2006 by Time Magazine, this fully washable, wireless high tech shirt will hug you and give you the warmth of a cuddle at the click of a button.
Invented by Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz the co-founders of CuteCircuit , the shirt has embedded sensors that feel the strength of the touch, the skin warmth and the heartbeat rate of the sender and actuators that recreate the sensation of touch, warmth and emotion of the hug to the shirt of the distant loved one.
And if a remotely activated embrace is not enough for you, Kissenger by Lovotics (love+robotics) will allow you to transmit a kiss to a dear friend, a lover, or a member of your family. Consisting of a pair of robots, the Kissenger concept is simple; transmit a kiss over distance using digital social media and robots.
According to Lovotics, Kissenger enables three modes of interaction:
1. Human to Human tele-kiss through the device: bridges the physical gap between two intimately connected individuals. Kissenger plays the mediating role in the kiss interaction by imitating and recreating the lip movement of both users in real time using two digitally connected artificial lips.
2. Human to Robot kiss: enabling an intimate relationship with a robot, such technology provides a new facility for closer and more realistic interactions between humans and robots. In this scenario, one set of artificial lips is integrated in a humanoid robot.
3. Human to Virtual character physical/virtual kiss: provides a link between the virtual and real worlds. Here, humans can kiss virtual characters while playing games and receive physical kisses from their favorite virtual characters. Further, Kissenger can be integrated into modern communication devices to facilitate the interactive communication between natural and technologically mediated environments and enhance human tele-presence.
Whether we will use these particular examples of wearable technology and cyborgian tele-presence or not, there is no doubt that the above are just some of the options soon to be available that are changing the way we interact, the way we feel and our modern techno-psychological make-up.