Friday, December 02, 2005

Timesharing the cuddles

Sometimes you get excited by a news item. Yesterday my attention was drawn to an article which has been published in the Singapore’s StraitTimes. The article was on the virtual cuddle. Yes, you are in the States and your loved one is tucked away in a small village in Holland and you can touch each other, virtually.

In reality, the article only projects the future possibility to transmit cuddles through internet. Presently researchers at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore are looking into transmissions of touching pets. A farmer who has gone to town can contact his farm and touch his pet chicken. The chicken has a coat with sensors, which can transfer the stroking.

This area of research is not new. You might remember the famous, magic bionic glove of years ago, which could move a piece on a chess board. This was a nice feat. But in the meantime research has moved on. Smart textile has become a serious development. When I was in Finland at Nokia’s research lab in Hermia near Tampere (Finland) a few weeks ago, a researcher told us that Nokia is working on textile with sensors, which can transmit signals such as the heart beat.

This type of research is often indicated as submersible experience. It is however still one-way traffic for the time being. The farmer can transmit the stroking to the chicken; the chicken, however, cannot pick in the farmers hand at the same time. It is like text chatting by MSN, but no video chatting yet. It is timesharing the cuddles. So it is not another product yet for the adult industry.

(In order to read the article in the newspaper you have to register with the online version of the newspaper. The article is also made available as a PDF by the university. The photograph is copied from the newspaper article.)

No comments: