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Long-distance kissing

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For couples separated by distance, keeping in close touch through their computers, tablets and smart phones is great, except for kissing. Now help may be on the way. 

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Kissenger: virtual lips for long-distance lovers AFP


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Long-distance kissing

There are many ways for couples separated by distance to keep in close touch through their computers, tablets and smart phones. Skype, Facetime and Windows Messenger are just a few of the programs that make it possible for lovers to gaze into each others' eyes and exchange words of endearment.

One thing is still missing, however. Kissing a video display falls far short of the real thing.

Help might be on the way.

A robotics professor in Singapore has invented a gadget equipped with motion-sensitive electronic "lips".

Shaped like a small head with oversized silicone lips, the "Kissenger" – short for Kiss Messenger – was unveiled in June at a scientific conference in Britain and is still being refined for commercial launch.

"It can be used between humans to improve their communication," its creator Hooman Samani told AFP.

Couples just have to connect the devices to computers via USB cables, link up online and start kissing the silicone material to trigger sensors that move the gadget on the other side.

They can stare at each other on the screen while exchanging kisses.

"The main issue is to transmit the force and pressure, and also the shape of the lip," Samani said.

The "special silicone material" chosen for the lips offers "the best sensation and feeling", said the scientist, who has personally tested the device.

But the Kissenger is not yet ready for the market despite "a lot of offers" from interested parties.

"Kissing is very intimate so in order to have a product in market which is going to deal with this sensitive issue we have to do proper studies and investigation," he said.
 
Adapted from an AFP story in today’s Bangkok Post.

virtual (reality) – images, sounds, movements, etc. that are produced by a computer and connected equipment to make the user feel as if they are in real three-dimensional space สภาวะเสมือนจริงที่จำลองโดยเทคนิคทางคอมพิวเตอร์
lips – the two soft edges at the opening to the mouth ริมฝีปาก
couple – two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship คุ่รัก
separated – apart from ห่างกัน, แยกกัน
keep in touch – to communicate with somebody ติดต่อ
gaze – to look at something or someone for a long time, especially in surprise, admiration or because you are thinking about something else มองดู, เพ่งมอง,จ้องมอง
endearment – a word or an expression that is used to show love or affection การแสดงความรัก
display – computer screen; video screen; the words, pictures, etc. shown on a computer screen จอภาพของเครื่องคอมพิวเตอร์
fall short – to not be as good or as successful as someone/something else ไม่เป็นไปตามที่หวังไว้
robotics – the science of designing and operating robots การออกแบบหุ่นยนต์
professor – a university teacher of the highest rank ศาสตราจารย์
invent – to design or create something such as a machine or process that did not exist before ประดิษฐ์
gadget – a small tool or piece of equipment that does something useful or impressive   อุปกรณ์ขนาดเล็ก, กลไกขนาดเล็ก
equipped – having what is necessary to do something ครบครัน,  ซึ่งมีเครื่องประกอบพร้อม
motion-sensitive – of a device have sensors able to detect movement
oversized – bigger than the normal size ขนาดใหญ่กว่าปกติ
unveil – to show or introduce a new plan, product, etc. to the public for the first time เปิดเผย, ประกาศให้รู้ทั่วไป
conference – a large official meeting, usually lasting for a few days, at which people with the same work or interests come together to discuss their views การประชุมร่วม
refine – to improve something by making small changes to it ทำให้ดีขึ้น
commercial – for business purposes เกี่ยวกับการค้า
launch – an event held to start selling a new product or service to the public  การเริ่มวางขาย
via – through  ผ่าน (ช่องทาง)
link – to connect เชื่อม
trigger – to cause ก่อให้เกิด
sensor – a device that can react to light, heat, pressure, etc. in order to make a machine, etc. do something or show something อุปกรณ์ส่งสัญญาณที่ไวต่อแสงหรืออุณหภูมิ, ตัวเซ็นเซอร์
stare – to look at someone or something very directly for a long time จ้องมอง
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
transmit – to send ส่ง
pressure – a force pressing against something ความกดดัน
material  – a substance that things can be made from วัตถุ
sensation – a feeling that you get when something affects your body ความรู้สึกต่อการสัมผัส
party – one of the people or groups of people involved in an official argument, arrangement or similar situation คู่กรณี
intimate – very close, friendly and personal คุ้นเคย, ใกล้ชิด, สนิทสนม
sensitive – needed to be dealt with very carefully to not cause anger or offence ที่ละเอียดอ่อน
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something การสอบสวน

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