I’m sure everyone thinks that MIT researchers are worthy of appreciation and always work on inventing new and useful things. Well, after an invention announced today I have to say that this will be only partly true, as these researchers just invented the Like-A-Hug Jacket that gives its owner a hug when they receive a Like on Facebook.
The mechanism is rather simple. This wearable social media jacket has a device connected to the Facebook social network and when its owner receives a like it gets filled with air and offers a sensation of hugging.
“Like-A-Hug is a wearable social media vest that allows for hugs to be given via Facebook, bringing us closer despite physical distance” said Melissa Chow, one of its creators. “The vest inflates when friends ‘Like’ a photo, video, or status update on the wearer’s wall, thereby allowing 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.”
While this sounds like a nice idea, I have to think it is indeed really useful as even those that cannot get out of the house, due to medical conditions, or those that are miles away from home would perhaps appreciate a Like or a real hug from friends and family and even share a tear when a vest would inflate as that could be the closest they’d be to those sending a like.
True, this jacket creates a connection between the online and the offline environments – we could actually say worlds – but other than being funny as a concept, could it really fulfill the need of having a real friend?
I remember reading a piece of news about a “Hug me jacket” for those that are lonely a month ago, a mere concept at that moment. I also have to be realistic and before saying that I cannot begin to imagine where the researchers came with the idea, I remember reading as well about many inventions from Asia, or even the latest and truly strange trend – for me at least – in Japan concerning bagel-like-foreheads. So, perhaps for any invention there is a market, and even if I didn’t buy such a jacket, surely others will.