Technology Steps Up To Assist With Long-Distance Relationships

Long-distance relationships take time, dedication, and hard work. While many people claim to be in successful, mutually rewarding long-distance relationships, most people warn about the lack of intimacy that comes from sustained periods of physical distance between the two parties to a relationship.

As Glamour reported, Skype and other real-time messaging and video conferencing solutions have made a world of difference to people navigating long-distance relationships, but they are still a far cry from actual physical closeness.

But now, technology is again stepping in, in an attempt to bridge the physical gap that comes with long-distance relationships. Glamour reported on a new technology called Flex-N-Feel, a type of high-tech glove that allows two people anywhere in the world to touch each other in any possible way.

With one party having a “sender” glove and the other wearing the “receiver” glove, the sender can initiate touches with the knowledge that the receiver’s glove will vibrate in response to the particular movements being made.

Carman Neustaedter, a professor who is credited with developing the technology, explained the type of “intimate gestures” that glove-wearers will be able to simulate.

“Users can make intimate gestures, such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug. The act of bending or flexing one’s finger is a gentle and subtle way to mimic touch.”

However, Neustaedter and her colleagues are not satisfied with leaving the technology there. They have further developed even more technologically advanced solutions for long-distance relationships, including an app that will live stream someone’s activities for someone else to view, and an even more technologically scary system through which someone else can look through a person’s eyes, and even a “telepresence robot” that displays the user’s face on the robots head, while the user can control its movements. Yes, just like the “Marshpillow” Lily used in the final season of How I Met Your Mother when Marshall couldn’t be there in person before Robin and Barney’s wedding.

As the Huffington Post reported, long-distance relationships tend to make people appreciate modern technology more than any other reason. When it becomes clear that, without the Internet, you wouldn’t be able to see your partner, it makes people feel even more appreciative of the modern technology that is sometimes taken for granted or even resented in society today.

But as dating site eHarmony noted, just because the technology exists doesn’t mean that it would be the right fit for every person in a long-distance relationship.

It is a fact of human nature that some people thrive on the phone while other people would do anything to avoid making or receiving a phone call. For the former group, it seems natural to get a decent long-distance phone plan and initiate a phone call straight after work or on the weekend, whereas the latter group may break into a cold sweat when they hear their ringtone sounding.

For those people, instant messaging, text messaging, and care packages via snail mail provide a level of care and intimacy that phone calls can’t provide.

To this end, communication is key. Before you go out and buy the latest piece of technology for your long-distance relationship – whether it be touch sensitive gloves or a robot that displays your face in real time – have a chat with your partner first. It might end up being something that could be exciting for both of you, or it might leave one of you filled with anxiety.

Every relationship is different and is only through effective communication that partners in a long-distance relationship will work out which technological advances work best for them.

[Featured Image by PKpix/Shutterstock]