Shaped like a small head with oversize 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.

Love is in the air: Hooman Samani with his device Kissenger that allows long-distance couples to share virtual kisses. Pic/AFP

“It can be used between humans to improve their communication,” said creator Hooman Samani.¬†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.

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 because there are ethical issues that need to be resolved on top of the technical aspects, he said.

Samani calls his field of study lovotics — research into the relationship between robots and humans — and the ‘Kissenger’ is just one of several devices being developed by his team.¬†