Cyber Love (4/10): Body Connection – ARTE (Plus Thaï, Italian, Catalan, Dutch and Russian fansubs)

Cyber Love (4/10): Body Connection – ARTE (Plus Thaï, Italian, Catalan, Dutch and Russian fansubs)


We’re heading towards a future of virtual relationships that are
increasingly intense and sensual. The new ground
that’s being broken isn’t really about visual
and auditory immersion any more, it’s about physical sensations. Did you get the message? Voice messages
such as “hugs and kisses”, pics where
I press my lips on the screen, and even French kisses
are out of fashion. Modern couples
use a kiss messenger. It looks wacky,
but it’s the work of a passionate designer: Hooman Samani, a professor
at National Taipei University. He heads a research
lab specialised in ‘Lovotics’. Lovotics is
‘love plus robotics’. So the idea is to integrate
robots into our daily relationships. Let’s say we’re in
a distant relationship. We can use emoticons,
smileys…So we’re using a digital system
to communicate love. But it’s not a real kiss,
it’s just a symbol. You don’t see full lips,
or human shaped lips. It’s more ‘symbolic’. When people are using this, the fact that they know it’s
operated through the Internet, that their partner’s pod
is giving them that feeling, that’s kind of the
embodiment of that feeling. What technology tries to do nowadays is improve that communication to create shared experiences. More and more research is being done
on haptic devices like this mouse, that conveys feelings of weight,
of smooth or rough surfaces, and garments that can send
vibration stimuli on the body. What? You’re
not wearing them yet? You need to get one!
Here’s how they work. Connected garments are a thing: there’s the Twitter Dress,
the Kinetic Dress, the Hug Shirt… The latter’s a top with
Bluetooth-activated sensors, that sends hugs through
a smartphone command. The shirt contracts and warms
up the wearer, and it’s washable. Is your long-distance
relationship at risk? This human-shaped
pillow may help. Place your phone in it.
When your loved one calls, you hug the pillow
to feel their heartbeat. This is another pillow
that renders your partner’s heartbeat thanks to this bracelet. Another way to remind
your partner you love her, double-tap this wearable device to
send her a heart-warming vibration. What about a connected coffee mug
that lights up to let you know when your partner
is drinking coffee? That’s all there is to it.
It’s not…It’s not sexual. This, however, you already
know. It’s a classic. Teledildonics have
been around for years, it’s a beautiful word. They’re vibrating dildos remotely operated
via the Internet, and can transmit
physical, sexual stimuli. Teledildonics isn’t your thing?
In the next episode, we’ll see that romance is possible
between humans and robots. Subtitles: Thomas Isackson

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