Long-distance relationships have always been challenging. But in today's world of Skype, smartphones and Facebook, it's easier than ever to keep in touch. And in the future, keeping in touch--literally--could be easier as well.
That's because researchers at Kajimoto Laboratory in Tokyo are working on "remote touching" technology that could eventually become a full, person-to-person tactile experience over the Internet.
The first step is the "kissing device."
Watch as one user "French kisses" another person, remotely, using a device that resembles a plastic straw. The computer program records the straw's movements and mimics them on the receiving end. The second user's plastic straw waggles in his or her mouth, creating (in theory) the sensation of kissing.
The lab is also working to bring you Sense-Roid, a tactile device that, in essence, allows the user to hug and caress himself. All IHF can say is: Finally!