The silly invention of the week award goes to the students at MIT for creating the Like-A-Hug jacket, which senses every time someone ‘Likes’ something of yours on Facebook and hugs you in return. Well, it gives the sensation of hugging at least.
Not only do you get free hugs, you get a stylish coat too, which puffs up in response to a Like. The jacket inflates slightly using a small wireless fan to give your body a little squeeze, similar to hugging. Melissa Chow, inventor of the Like-A-Hug, says it’s designed to bring people closer together despite being physically far away from each other. Users can also send hugs back to whoever hugged them by pushing down on the jacket to deflate it.
It would make a great social experiment to test if the same parts of the brain are lit up by hugs as those activated by the jacket inflating. This doesn’t have to be restricted to Facebook, either. It could also be adapted for use with Twitter, with the jacket giving you a hug every time a tweet gets favorited or retweeted.
We all secretly love people liking and commenting on our Facebook posts, but I’m not sure we’re all so emotionally empty that we need to be hugged every time this happens. If you get too many likes, the coat could become a bit suffocating and would start annoying you fairly quickly.
It’s an interesting concept anyway, and perhaps shows how we’re actually more disconnected these days, despite all the online connections.
More at Melissa Chow’s site, via Babble