Interactive technology just got creepy. Really creepy. A team of researchers at Japan’s Keio University created a poster that responds to being kissed.
Lead researcher Keidai Ogawa shows the technology is simple. Sensors judge the distance between passers-by and the poster. As the subject gets closer, the image on the screen shifts from a neutral face, to a kissing face, to a blushing face (because computer images are oh-so demure). Ogawa said the idea came to him after being bothered that posters of his favorite pop stars didn’t interact with him.
The team at Keio have big plans for the kissing posters. They are investigating commercial uses including interactive marketing, “we think we could get pop idols to actually pose for this, and sell it as an application, or it could be used in digital signage,” Ogawa explains.
Suggestions from user testing only make things weirder; feedback included enhancing the experience with the scent of shampoo, a sound loop whispering “I love you” and adding a lemon-flavored film on the lips.
NewsFeed agrees with the folks at Geekosystem — there could be an audience for up-close and personal digital experiences with celebrities, but the idea of publicly kissing posters makes us run for a vat of Purell.