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How to kiss your Facebook friend online for real

A Japanese company creates a device that you put in your mouth and it transmits the feeling of you kissing someone else to them over the Web.

While the rest of the world is rapt by news of international terrorists and stealth special ops missions, perhaps we should offer a little thought to kissing.

Our new Web-oriented world has brought people together in ways never before possible, but we're still missing some elements of human connection. You know, like the physical kind.

The Kajimoto Research Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications, however, believes it can bring us that nirvana.

It has create a device that looks like a straw, which doesn't seem entirely sensual. Still, you mimic your kissing motion (everyone's is different, naturally). Then the software records your tongue motion and transmits it to your target, who must be someone in possession of the very same device.

Taste, manner of breathing, and tongue moistness are, apparently, all vital ingredients in the kissing experience. The engineers aim to re-create all of these to give the device its full and beautiful power.

Those who are, for reasons of work, economics, or the judicial system, unable to be close to those they love the most will surely leap upon the opportunity to avail themselves of something so intimate.

Social networking and dating sites might also benefit. If you were to discover, before your first date, that your prospective lover kisses like a whale with dysentery, then you might feel it best not to venture on the date.

And yet, in the video I have embedded, the engineers seem to have more lofty, and simultaneously more icky, goals.

For example, one engineer says: "If you have a popular entertainer use this device and record it, that could be hugely popular if you offer it to fans."

Indeed. Or it could be hugely repulsive. It could give various "American Idol" contestants vast leeway to entice fans to vote for their tuneless warblings. It could lead to all sorts of fantasies best left in the inner workings of the mind, rather than of the mouth.

For some, I know, this offers yet more post-Second Life, post 3D porn, postmodern simulation, and stimulation.

For others, it will be the last straw.