Created by MIT student Melissa Chow, the “like-a-hug” jacket makes virtual experiences a bit more realistic, by inflating and giving you a hug whenever someone likes you on Facebook. Soon, real friends will probably be obsolete.
Having people like you on Facebook is nice, but don’t you wish you could feel the love whenever they hit that “Like” button? Well, thanks to the innovative “like-a-hug” jacket, now you can. Inventor Melissa Chow, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says it “allows us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs”. The concept behind this Facebook jacket is fairly simple – air pockets inside the jacket inflate every time your smartphone sends a signal that a new “like”has been received. Better still, you can send hugs back to your friend by simply squeezing the jacket and deflating it.
“We came up with the concept over a casual conversation about long-distance relationships and the limitations of video chat interfaces like Skype. The concept of telepresence arose, and we toyed with the idea of receiving hugs via wireless technology,” Chow says. The Like-a-Hug jacket is only a prototy, but considering Facebook’s popularity right now, it could soon turn into the world’s trendiest fashion accessory.
This type of long distance relationship gadget isn’t exactly new. During the last couple of years, other wacky inventors have been busy creating devices that could allow people to interact with each other from thousands of miles away. Kissinger, the kiss transmission device, and Hugvie, the huggable robotic pillow phone are just two of their latest attempts.