Business Technology

Sunday 25 February 2018

Why like someone on Facebook when you can hug them?

IF BEING Facebook friends is just not enough, then you can now give someone an actual hug.

A designer has come up with a jacket that actively gives you a cuddle when someone says they like you on the social network site.

The "Like-A-Hug" jacket inflates when someone clicks on the "Like" button putting a little more reality into virtual reality.

Designed by MIT student Melissa Chow, who said it "allows us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs".

Hugs can also be sent back to the original sender by squeezing the vest and deflating it.

Miss Chow said: "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."

The jacket can also automatically inflate to hug the wearer when a like is received via a mobile phone.

The jacket works by inflating air pockets inside the jacket when the wearer's mobile phone sends a signal a page has been liked.

Facebook recently revealed that since the site first began, its billion members have "liked" over 1.13 trillion items on the social network.

It also revealed 140.3 billion friend connections have been made, 219 billion photos shared and more than 300 million photos are uploaded daily.

Miss Chow, who collaborated with colleagues Andy Payne and Phil Seaton at MIT's (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab, explains: "The project was done as an exercise."

By Richard Alleyne

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