Virtual Hugs for Touchy-feely Shut-ins

Have you ever been chatting online and gotten all sad and distant and wish your chat buddy could hug you? Or wanted to feel someone's heart race with rage via the internet? Well, intrepid science guinea pigs, wish no further.

Sometimes, the future is awesome, giving us things we didn't know we needed. And then sometimes it gives us hugging via IM-controlled suspenders.

Thanks to iFeel_IM — invented by Dzmitry Tsetserukou, an assistant professor at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan — your dreams of not really occupying the same meatspace as your buddy but still sharing a physical experience can come true.


iFeel_IM is a assortment of motors, sensors, and speakers that's stitched into what looks like the straps of a backpack. According to Tsetserukou, "I am looking to create a deep immersive experience, not just a vibration in your shirt triggered by an SMS. Emotion is what give communication life." It can simulate hugs, shivers down the spine, and "realistic" hugs. But nothing sexual; apparently, Tsetserukou didn't want to distract from his "emotion boosting" goal.

Which means that no one will buy it.

(Via GoogleNews and Warren Ellis)