The Hug Shirt™, invented by Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz the co-founders of CuteCircuit, is a shirt that allows people to send hugs over distance.
Embedded in the Hug Shirt are sensors that feel the strength, duration, and location of the touch, the skin warmth and the heartbeat rate of the sender and actuators that recreate the sensation of touch, warmth and emotion of the hug to the Hug Shirt of the distant loved one.
The Hug Shirt was invented in 2002 and it has been awarded as one of the Best Inventions of the Year by Time Magazine in 2006. The Hug Shirt connects Bluetooth to any smartphone thanks to the HugShirt App.
The shirt records a hug and delivers the data to a mobile via Bluetooth through the App and then ythe hug is transmitted over the network to the recipient's phone and it is seamlessly transmitted via Bluetooth to their Hug Shirt.
Sending hugs is as easy as sending a text message or chatting, and you are able to send hugs while you are on the move, in the same way and to the same places you are able to make phone calls (Rome to Tokyo or New York to Paris).
The system is very simple: a Hug Shirt (Bluetooth with sensors and actuators), a Bluetooth enabled smartphone with the Hug Shirt App running (it understands what the sensors are communicating), and on the other side another smartphone and another Hug Shirt. If you do not have a Hug Shirt but know that your friend has one you can still send them a hug creating it with the Hug Shirt software and it will be delivered to your friend's Hug Shirt in real time.
The new Hug Shirt was presented during the CuteCircuit fashion show at New York Fashion Week.
Why the Hug Shirt?
The Hug Shirt is not meant to replace human contact, but to make you happy if you are away for business or other reasons and you miss your friends and loved ones. It also has some very interesting applications in the medical field with the elderly and children. And it is fun to use and very soft.
According to Cute Circuit, Interfaces and systems must be intuitive, natural, and compatible with our emotional status. Combining emotion and technology should be part of every design process. An increasing mobility of humans throughout the globe, due to business or study reasons, has brought family members to spend most of their time apart from each other. Humans need physical contact with each other and digital technology should allow for a pleasant Human-Human Interaction.
Adults, such as busy travellers and elderly people living far away from their families, deprived of tactile contact for a long period of time will tell you just how depressing it feels. A hug, a handshake, a pat on the back, and a kiss are all very important and bring us close to others.
People need to be touched at least 70 times a day. Start noticing how many times you shake hands or hug a friend, and you will see that it really makes you feel good, and if you didn't get enough hugs give us a call and come visit.
Source and top image: Cute Circuit