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A virtual helmet that simulates kisses of any kind

Researchers from the Future Interfaces group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania have modified a virtual reality headset so that it is capable of simulating the sensation of a kiss, among other things.

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The system recreates the tactile sensation in and around the user’s mouth so that they experience different sensations. The researchers fitted a VR goggle with an array of ultrasonic transducers that focus on the wearer’s mouth. The helmet works without the need for additional accessories.

The transducers are capable of emulating different types of movements and pressures, which vary in magnitude and intensity. They can recreate the sensation of an object sliding or brushing against the lips and even mimic the sensation of a water fountain running over the lips.

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This haptic hardware can be used in different scenarios. Just as it allows you to recreate the feeling of a kiss, it could be used in the context of a video game or virtual horror movie in which you feel spiders walking across your face, as shown in the institutional video. Or software could be developed that replicates the sensation of brushing your teeth.

At the same time, could be implemented to generate virtual gastronomic experiences, since the user can feel how the food or drinks enter and slide through the mouth.

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The researchers even did demonstrations in which the user feel the force of the wind on your lips while you virtually walk a path, on top of a motorcycle. There are even experiences that recreate the sensation of putting a cigarette in your mouth and smoking.

There can be as many uses as you can imagine, but the truth is that the possibility of using this technology to experience virtual kisses is probably one of the most interesting. And remember other developments that seek to achieve the same. This is the case of Kissenger, a phone case that simulates kisses.

The case is made on the basis of silicones and works together with an application. Both users must download the platform on their mobiles and have that support that integrates sensors, capable of measuring the force exerted by the lips when kissing. This information is sent to the app that transmits the information to the app also installed on the other user’s cell phone. That way you experience a virtual kiss. A way to “overcome” the limitations of distance in love and other forms of flirting.

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This product, introduced in 2016, was developed by Adrian David Cheokwho had initially created a silicone head with lips that evolved until giving way to this much more practical and portable gadget.

Over time, it continued to advance with its development and changed not only its aesthetics but also added more technology to achieve a more realistic effect. The product today is smaller and reproduces haptic sensations at various points on the user’s lips.

“We designed a series of strategically placed linear micro actuators on the input surface to replicate the forces and movements of human lips during kissing,” the developers clarified, in a statement released in 2019.

It should be noted that tactile and vibratory stimulation is used in various haptic systems such as video game controllers or joysticks. Also in chairs and other products. The interesting thing about these two mentioned products is that they seek to use this information, encoded in patterns, to recreate increasingly realistic sensations in an act as human and intimate as kissing.. Will it become the norm for long-distance relationships? Time will tell.

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