Now your phone can hold your hand, breathe on you and give you a kiss

Posted In Mobile Web - By Ryan On Friday, September 9th, 2011 With 0 Comments

A designer at the TEDxBerlin conference showed off a prototype of a mobile handset that’ll turn the emotions and senses expressed in words over the phone into actual physical responses that you can feel. Innovative, maybe. But freaky, definitely.

One of the prototypes includes a strap that fits around your hand that tightens as the friend you’re speaking to on the other end of the line tightens their grip on their phone, essentially allowing them to hold your hand from wherever they are. The second prototype focuses on breathing and translates air movements on your friend’s phone into jets of air on your side. Just plain creepy.

But probably the grossest of the bunch is the prototype dedicated to replicating the sensation of kissing. It works via a moisture sensor on the phone and a motor on the other phone that delivers a ‘wet sponge pushing against a membrane’. Nice. Nothing says I love you like the feeling of a wet piece of sponge. Best (or worst) of all, the smooching sensor differentiates between a quick peck on the cheek and a full French open-mouth kiss.

If you find the thought of all of this repulsive, you’re not alone, but the designer behind it all would probably consider us technological prudes. Designer Fabian Hemmert explained that there are two core reasons for telecommunications, “One reason is information exchange, and for that speech is really good. The other reason is because we want to be in touch, because the other person is not there. And that’s an emotional need and not so much of a rational need. If you think about being in touch, maybe text, video, speech are not all we can do. Maybe we can enable people to be in touch physically.”

But even he admits his simulations might be going to far, saying, “You get the question that arises: Do we want that? How much nearness do we want?” Here’s a clue, Fabian. When you need to involve moisture-inducing sponge motors on a mobile phone to be able to kiss someone, you’ve probably crossed the line. Just a little bit.

About - With at least 20 phones tucked away in drawers around the house and office, Ryan is a buy-to-try mobile consumer and loves playing with new handsets. Right now he's stuck on the iPhone 4.

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