Melissa Chow, an MIT student, designed a jacket that inflates to simulate someone’s hug when you receive a like on Facebook.
The jacket is aptly called, “Like-a-Hug.” It’s primary purpose is to bring a dose of reality into the virtual Likes that we give or receive on the social networking site.
Chow said that this jacket “allows us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs.”
Furthermore, she says that the motivation to create this jacket was when her team talked about the limitations of long distance relationships and how often times, just having a video call over Skype is not enough.
“The concept of telepresence arose, and we toyed with the idea of receiving hugs via wireless technology,” Chow adds.
One cool feature of the “Like-a-Hug” jacket is that when you want to hug back the person who Liked you, all you have to do is deflate the vest by squeezing it, and simulating a “hug back” in the process.
When a person wearing the jacket receives a like over a mobile device, the jacket will inflate instantly.
The MIT project is a collaboration between Chow, Phil Seaton and Andy Pane of the school’s Media Lab.