Loneliness can be a serious issue for couples in long-distance relationships, especially during times of lockdowns and social distancing. To combat this problem, a Chinese start-up has come up with a unique solution: a long-distance kissing machine called MUA.
Developed by Beijing-based Siweifushe, the device is named after the sound of a kiss and uses motion sensors hidden in silicon lips to transmit users’ kiss data. When a user replays the kiss, the silicon lips move simultaneously to create a more authentic experience. The machine also captures and replays sound and warms up slightly during kissing, making the experience even more realistic.
MUA can also be used with an accompanying app that allows users to download kissing data submitted by other users. The idea for the device came to Siweifushe founder Zhao Jianbo during the lockdown in China when he was unable to physically meet his girlfriend. Frustrated by the lack of physical intimacy during video calls, Zhao decided to create a device that could transmit kissing data remotely.
The device has proved to be a hit, with over 3,000 units sold in just two weeks after its release, and around 20,000 orders received. Priced at 260 yuan ($38), the MUA resembles a mobile stand with colourless lips protruding from the front. To use it, couples must download an app onto their smartphones and pair their kissing machines. When they kiss the device, it kisses back.
Although MUA is not the first remote kissing device on the market, it offers a unique combination of features that make the experience more authentic and satisfying. Researchers at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications developed a “kiss transmission machine” in 2011, while Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute created a similar gadget called the “Kissinger” in 2016.
As the world becomes more connected through technology, long-distance relationships are becoming more common. And while nothing can replace physical intimacy, inventions like MUA offer a unique way for couples to stay connected and combat loneliness during times of separation.