Page last updated at 23:38 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 00:38 UK

Couples vie to try bedroom device

The device will be demonstrated at Edinburgh Art Festival

A search for couples to try out a long distance intimacy device has attracted dozens of applications.

Moray-based Distance Lab said there had been a lot of interest from couples keen to find out more about Mutsugoto.

Using cameras, artificial lights and computers, the device allows couples to "touch" each other while lying on their beds miles away from each other.

It was designed to communicate intimacy and to offer an alternative to text and e-mail messaging.

Distance Lab, which works in Moray and the Highlands and Islands, hopes to test Mutsugoto using volunteers in long distance relationships for the first time.

The couples, who can be located miles apart, wear touch-activated rings visible to a camera mounted above them.

A computer vision system tracks the movement of the ring as one of the device's users passes it across their own body, or bed.

At the same time these strokes are transmitted and then projected in beams of light on the body of their partner. The lines change colour if they cross.

Mutsugoto has been in development for about two years and involves artist Tomoko Hayashi.

The project recently won an award from the Alt-w Production Fund.

It will be demonstrated at Edinburgh Art Festival in August.

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