MUA is a device developed during the lockdown by a Chinese start-up, and was designed with long-distance relationships in mind and the possibility of sending kisses even from afar . To work, users need to download an app on their phone and connect the MUA device. Here's how it works.
The birth of MUA during the lockdown
During the lockdown , a Chinese start-up has developed a remote kissing device. The inventor is Zhao Jianbo, 31, who got the idea because of the isolation that kept him away from his fiancée. So here he thought of a device that would allow you to send and receive kisses from a distance. He founded the start-up Siweifushe which released the first MUA prototype shortly thereafter. The name of the device comes from the onomatopoeia that recalls the sound of a kiss. Now Zhao Jianbo has declared that he wants to bring his invention all over the world, including Italy.
The young inventor earned his degree discussing precisely the lack of physical intimacy during video calls. The restrictions imposed in China due to Covid-19 played a key role in the development of his invention, but there were other reasons as well . In fact, he stated:
“I want my country to be the cradle of such a gadget which I am sure will become popular all over the world”.
Zhao Jianbo, inventor of the MUA device
How does MUA work?
MUA is a device with silicone lips to which users can transmit their kissing data through motion sensors hidden in the lips. These sensors move to reproduce the kisses received, managing to create a simulated kissing experience. The device consists of a machine with artificial silicone lips on the ends, which connects to the mobile via a USB port and a dedicated app. During a video call, your kissing movements are recorded by the machine and sent to the other connected person. The receiving machine will interpret this data and make the fake lips move accordingly, making the kissing experience more realistic. In addition, the device can play kissing sounds and heats up slightly to simulate the temperature of the other person's lips.
The spread of MUA in China
The first MUA prototype was introduced at the end of January at the modest price of 260 yuan, which corresponds to about 37 euros. In just two weeks, 1,500 devices were sold. Then orders increased exponentially and this year it is expected to reach 300,000 units sold. In the coming months, MUA will be available in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea. In fact, the inventor has declared that he has already established contacts with Italian distributors.
The device comes in different shades, all featuring unisex lips. User ratings were mixed: some liked it, while others felt uncomfortable using it. Several users have expressed concern about the use of the device for erotic content online, considering that such content is strictly regulated in China. However, the inventor of MUA has stated that his company respects the regulations in force and that there is nothing he can do to control how people will use the device.
MUA is not the only device invented for remote kissing. Back in 2011, researchers at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo created a " kiss transmission machine ", while in 2016, the Imagineering Institute of Malaysia launched a similar gadget called the " Kissinger " on the market. Zhao Jianbo is already thinking about other projects to promote intimacy at a distance . It is working on a hug device and a calling tool that will allow users to hear the heartbeat of their loved ones by tapping a special button on their smartphone. These products are still in the R&D stage and are expected to be on the market within the next couple of months.
Cover credit: Tingshu Wang/Reuters
The article MUA, how the Chinese device that sends kisses from a distance works was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .