23rd March 2023 – (Shanghai) A Chinese start-up, Siweifushe, has recently launched a long-distance kissing machine called “MUA,” which has gained popularity in the country amid the pandemic. The device allows users to transmit their kiss data through motion sensors hidden in silicon lips that move simultaneously with the replayed kisses.
The idea behind MUA came from China’s lengthy lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented physical intimacy for many couples. Zhao Jianbo, the inventor of MUA and a former Beijing Film Academy student, came up with the concept when he was in a long-distance relationship and was unable to see his girlfriend due to the lockdown. He focused his graduate project on the lack of physical intimacy in video calls and founded Siweifushe to launch the product.
To use MUA, lovers must download an app on their smartphones and connect their kissing machines through their phone charging port. The device looks like a mobile stand with realistic pursed lips protruding from the front. Users activate the device using the app, and when they kiss it, the device kisses back. MUA also captures and replays sound and warms up slightly during kissing, making the experience more authentic.
Since its release on 22nd January, MUA has sold over 3,000 units in the first two weeks and received about 20,000 orders, said Zhao. The device is priced around 260 yuan ($38) and is available in several colours, although the lips are the same unisex design. However, MUA has received mixed reviews, with some users saying it was intriguing, while others found it uncomfortable, and among the top complaints was its lack of tongue.
Some people on social media expressed concern that the device could be used for online erotic content, which is strictly regulated in China. However, Zhao stated that his company complies with regulations, but there is little they can do regarding how people use the device.
MUA is not the first remote kissing device, as researchers at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications invented a “kiss transmission machine” in 2011, and Malaysia’s Imagineering Institute made a similar gadget called the “Kissinger” in 2016.
MUA has become a popular device in China, allowing couples to stay connected and experience some physical intimacy during the pandemic. While some people are concerned about its potential use in online erotic content, Zhao and his team at Siweifushe maintain that their product complies with regulations and offers an innovative solution to a challenging problem.