Hugvie, the huggable robotic pillow-phone invented by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, of Osaka University, has a heartbeat and internal vibrators meant to make it seem more human-like as you put your arm around it imagining it’s the person hundreds of miles away.
The concept of enhancing long-distance phone conversations between loved ones isn’t new. Kissinger, the long distance kiss messenger, and the kiss transmission device invented by other Japanese researchers have also tried to make long-distance conversations more personal by making the protagonists feel closer to each other. Hugvie is basically a robotic pillow with a human shape that acts as a port for your mobile phone. It’s got its own heartbeat and internal vibrators that react faster and stronger, depending on the tone of the conversation. It sounds like an interesting device, but a lot of people find it just a little bit creepy.