Before we go “this is creepy”, or “oh, Japan”, let’s admit this was just a matter of time. Damn you, modern world, we would have liked to laugh at this. This is exactly what the title implies: scientists from the Keio University created a digital poster with a twist: it responds to user interaction. More specifically, when users kiss it, it kisses back. Reread that last sentence all you want, we really meant that.
This is the work of Keidai Ogawa and his team. He explains the whole thing is pretty simple: the poster is displayed on a screen and has varying reactions (all preset) depending on how close or far away the user is, which is measured using an overhead ultrasonic sensor. But it’s the next bit what makes the whole thing truly special: Once the user leans towards it, the poster changes to show the awkward moment of smooching, and then it blushes afterwards.
The idea came to Ogawa because he was frustrated that none of his J-pop idol posters were moving. The man was just tired of static images. While we think this is a weird and sort of creepy solution, we can do nothing but compliment this man’s drive. He did what he did… for science. Obviously, the plans to make a profit off of this investigation came by pretty quickly, and opportunities are being researched as we type. With the right endorsement, who knows, you could be kissing Beyonce or Shakira. Although, if used in public spaces, that’s just asking for diseases. Other projects include using this technology to create an iPad version, as an app that will use the frontal camera to detect the incoming kiss.
On the topic of the next steps to take, in order to make the whole thing more realistic, Ogawa explained: “The current system only produces visual changes, but we could also include the scent of shampoo from the person’s hair, or a lemon-flavored film on the lips, or a speaker that whispers “I love you.” People who’ve tried this system advised us to do those things, so we think there’s still plenty to be done. We’ve learned a lot from talking to users.”
To be frank, we’re speechless here. “lemon-flavored film on the lips”? Where did that come from? This seems like the type of thing that starts out as a joke, and gets progressively deeper, to the point where it’s just creepy. But hey, it’s cutting edge technology, and we’re sure there’s a market of lonely people ready to jump over these as soon as it’s ready.
This story comes via our friends at Geekosystem. We have more WTF inventions over here, check out WTF Gadgets: Chinese Knock Offs and 13 of the Worst Product Concepts for Babies: WTF Were They Thinking?.