A Chinese startup has created a remote kissing machine that transmits kissing data collected by users through motion sensors hidden in silicone lips, which move the lips simultaneously as the kiss is received repeatedly.
The MUA – named after the sound people usually make when they blow a kiss, also captures and plays back the sound and warms up slightly during kissing, making the experience even more authentic, says Beijing-based Siweifushe.
Users can even download kiss data sent by other users through the companion app. The invention was inspired by quarantine isolation, the worst of which Chinese lockdowns have prohibited residents from leaving their apartments for months.
“I was dating at the time, but I couldn’t see my girlfriend because of the lockdown,” said the inventor, Zhao Jianbo. At the time, as a student at the Beijing Film Academy, he focused his graduate project on the lack of physical intimacy in video calls. He later founded Siweifushe which released MUA, its first product on January 22. The device is priced at 260 Yuan (USD 38). Within two weeks of its launch, the company produced more than 3,000 kissing machines and received about 20,000 orders, he said.
The MUA resembles a mobile phone stand with colorless puckered lips protruding from the front. To use it, couples have to download an app to their smartphones and pair their kissing machines. As they kiss the device, it will kiss them back. The device has received mixed responses, with some users saying it’s exciting, while others say it makes them uncomfortable. One of the main complaints is the lack of a tongue feature.
A reviewer said that it is a fun product “even if you are single”. Some commenters on the social media site Weibo also expressed concerns that the device could be used for online erotic content, which is strictly regulated in China. Zhao said that his company complies with regulations, but “there’s not much we can do for how people use these devices.”
MUA is not the first remote kissing device. Researchers at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications created a “kiss transmission machine” in 2011, and Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute created a similar device called “Kissinger” in 2016.