India might be the birth place of the KamaSutra but kissing in public is still rare and can raise eyebrows in India. “In India, Kisses Are on Rise, Even in Public” reads this NYT article which talks about rising tolerance towards public display of affection including kissing in Indian society. Kissing might still be taboo in many places in India but that has not stopped a startup in the South Indian state of Kerala to launch an app that allows users to send virtual kisses to loved ones.
Volmacht Business Solutions, an IT services startup incubated at TechnoPark in Thiruvananthapuram, launched the app KissMS (analogous to SMS ) the day before on iOS and Android platforms, to coincide with Valtentine’s day. There a variety of ‘kisses’ to choose from like Good Morning kiss, New Year kiss, Birthday kiss, Get Well soon kiss, miss you kiss etc.
This is not the first app trying to “virtualize” kisses. App for couples ‘Couple’ offers a feature Thumbkiss, where users touch the screen with their thumbs and when both users have done so, the phone vibrates. Google and Burberry partnered in June 2013 to develop a virtual way of sending kisses on web and mobile phones.
Once you activate the KissMS app using your email address, you can send a request to your dear ones using their email. If they have the app and accept your request you can start sending and receiving kisses. Users can add their face pictures for different conversations and the ‘kisses’ get placed on the face pictures. A user “kisses” virtually by touching the touch screen of the phone on the other person’s image. Recorded voice and text can also be sent along with the kisses. The app also lets you send hugs and bouquets virtually.
The app has a distance counter and a duration counter. With the distance meter the app tells how far the kiss has travelled. The duration counter counts the time the user has been in contact with the screen while placing a kiss “kimoji”. Also statistics for an entire conversation can be viewed.
The app looks like it’s a work in progress in terms of the website, user interface and icons. While the release of this app might seem like a PR and marketing effort by the IT services company which made the app, the success of such an app cannot be ruled out and it could be an effort by the company to make in-house products and applications. The startup claims to have got about ‘10,000 hits’ in the first six hours according to this report by Hindustan Times.
Visit http://www.kissms.me/ to check it out.