Used to be, when inexperienced teenagers and lonely misanthropes wanted to practice kissing, they puckered-up and smooched the back of their hand.
Leave it to Japan to come to the rescue.
Considering the popularity of silicon Dutch Wives in the Land of the Rising Sun, this next device, really, should come as no surprise.
Developed by the Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo, the "Kiss Transmission Device" prototype is designed to effectively transmit the feeling of a French kiss, swirling tongue and all.
"If you take one device in your mouth and turn it with your tongue, the other device turns in the same way," says the device's inventor in a YouTube video. "If you turn it back the other way, then your partner's turns back the same way, so your partner's device turns whichever way your own device turns."
The "tongue" is actually a small plastic tube connected to a bilateral motor inside the device, which is linked to a computer. Rotation data can then be recorded, processed and programmed to remember specific tongue swirls. With that information capable of being transmitted to a partner device, virtual kissing over the internet may soon be coming to a long distance relationship near you.
The Kiss Transmission Device's inventor even hopes to replicate the sensations of breathing, saliva and taste for future models.
“The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing, and the moistness of the tongue. If we can recreate all of those I think it will be a really powerful device,” he explains in the video.
Users of the Kiss Transmission Device are encouraged to have an active imagination. The device currently resembles a breathalyzer crossed with a motorized toothbrush.
Hesitant to play tonsil hockey with a machine? You can always say you're conducting research into "tactile communication."