The machine is designed to transmit the feeling of a kiss, apparently. In reality it's a rotating straw, presented by a painfully geeky kid in a deeply disturbing little video clip.
But never mind that - Japanese boffins are on the case, and if they are successful, long distance couples could find themselves snogging in no time. Alternatively, the device could be used by popular celebrities, programmed with their particular tongue action and sold to the fans. No, we didn't come up with that, it's from the video. There may be more suggestions there but we couldn't bear to finish watching it.
The research is taking place at the Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications, and the researchers admit it's not yet finished. The ultimate goal is to see whether the machine will let two people use the linked machine at the same time, and have the whole thing translate into something remotely close to the real deal.
Explained researcher Nobuhiro Takahashi:
"If you take one device in your mouth and turn it with your tongue, the other device turns in the same way. If you turn it back the other way, then your partner's turns back the same way, so your partner's device turns whichever way your own device turns."
Now the researchers are working on perfecting the device:
"The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing, and the moistness of the tongue. If we can recreate all of those I think it will be a really powerful device."
Critics have pointed out that even if perfected the machine only offers a narrow slice of the kissing experience. So maybe it can be used to train technique, but sexiness is not included.