Dear Faithful Reader,
Many people spend considerable chunks of time away from their significant other. Consultants, sales people, airline personnel, and many others travel constantly because of their jobs. Married students attend separate campuses. The reasons for physical separation are endless.
One of the issues, of course, is missing the physical intimacy that is only possible when you are together. Or is that the only way it's possible?
This article by CBC News reports on new product called the Sinulator, which some members of the military (among others) are apparently using to keep the home fires burning. This device gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "reach out and touch someone." Billed as the world's first internet-controllable sex toy, the Sinulator allows a soldier in Iraq to have an intimate interlude with his wife in New York. (Well, you be the judge of whether you consider it to be intimate.) The soldier simply uses a normal Internet computer, while the partner at home uses a computer-controllable handheld device.
Where might this be headed in the future? Imagine two people on opposite ends of an Internet connection, both wearing black lycra body suits interlaced with computer-controllable sensors that can simulate human touch. (To my knowledge, this type of suit has not yet been invented.) Add in 3D goggles and a headset and you could see, hear and feel your partner's movements from afar.
What do you think? Are we on the verge of re-defining the bounds of intimacy? Can you see such products ever being accepted as mainstream? Or is this sort of thing likely to always be considered too "out there" for most people?
I will post my personal favorite comment next Saturday with a link to the respondent's blog.
Signed, The Inquiring Advice Guy
(Oh, and check back tomorrow everyone; my online interview will be available.)