FINANCIAL TIMES - Sep 12 - Some dating apps are already using AI to analyse chats and encourage users to set up dates. "We're only just beginning to see what can be achieved through virtual reality,' says Prof Adrian Cheok, director of the Imagineering Institute research project. "Vision and hearing are the easiest senses to replicate. The coming challenges are taste, touch and smell." Devices that incorporate these senses are already being tested. The "Kissenger", developed by Prof Cheok and PhD student Emma Yann Zhang, allows users to kiss from anywhere in the world via an interactive silicon lip. Investors have shown some interest in taking the product to market. In Japan, demand for robotic companions to combat loneliness has grown. Last summer, Saijo city offered the PaPeRo I (Partner-type-Personal-Robot), developed by NEC, to a small number of elderly residents for free. PaPeRos roam around homes, striking up conversations and offering personalised greetings, jokes and reminders about calendar events.