Mediating intimacy in long-distance relationships using kiss messaging

Elham Saadatian, Hooman Samani, Rahul Parsani, Anshul Vikram Pandey, Jinhui Li, Lenis Tejada, Adrian David Cheok, Ryohei Nakatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Intimate interactions between remotely located individuals are not well supported by conventional communication tools, mainly due to the lack of physical contact. Also, haptic research has not focused on the use of a kiss as a mode of interaction that maintains intimacy in long distance relationships. In this study, we designed and developed a haptic device called Kissenger (Kiss-Messenger) for this issue. Kissenger is an interactive device that provides a physical interface for transmitting a kiss between two remotely connected people. Each device is paired with another and the amount of force and shape of the kiss by the user is sensed and transmitted to another device that is replicated using actuators. Kissenger is designed to augment already existing remote communication technologies. Challenges in the design and development of the system are addressed through an iterative design process involving constant evaluation by users after each stage. The devices are evaluated through a short- and a long-term user study with remotely located couples. The results point to an initial acceptance of the device with feedback from the users on directions to improve the overall experience. This study discusses potential issues that designers should be aware of when prototyping for remote intimate interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-746
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Haptic interpersonal communication
  • Kiss transmission
  • Kissenger
  • Remote tactile communication
  • Tangible user interface


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