Page last updated at 23:50 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 00:50 UK

Cities test for 'intimacy' device

Mutsugoto
Mutsugoto has been in development for about two years

A couple living apart in Edinburgh and London are to try out new bedroom technology designed for people in long-distance relationships.

Moray-based Distance Lab believes Mutsugoto to be more intimate than e-mail messaging, phone, or text.

Using cameras, artificial lights and computers, the device allows couples to "draw" on each other in beams of light.

Following this weekend's trial, the device is to be tested in cities in continental Europe.

Mutsugoto has been in development for about two years by the Forres-based company, and involves artist Tomoko Hayashi.

Couples wear touch-activated rings visible to a camera.

Their movements are tracked and translated into beams of light projected onto the bed or body of their partner.

Rather than be 'anywhere anytime', Mutsugoto is based in the more private and quiet space of the bedroom
Dr Stefan Agamanolis
Chief executive

It is be demonstrated at InSpace, which is among the venues for the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Dr Stefan Agamanolis, chief executive and research director at Distance Lab, said: "Statistics show that long distance relationships are more and more common.

"This project is a reaction to mobile phones, e-mail, chat programs and other common modes of communication that couples will often have trouble with because they are very impersonal, generic, and steal away any sense of intimacy or closeness they might feel.

"Mutsugoto is an opposite experience."

He added: "Rather than be 'anywhere anytime', Mutsugoto is based in the more private and quiet space of the bedroom."

The trials are to be completed by next month.

Fighting game

One of Distance Lab's key areas of work is telehealth, technologies designed for patients or to help people stay healthy.

Mr Agamanolis said the research laboratory has three major telehealth projects ongoing.

Also in development at the site is an interactive fighting game in which people can throw themselves at a life-sized image of an opponent who could be on the other side of the world.

In the prototype, people battle a silhouette projected on to a mattress.



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