A vest that gives you a squeeze to let you know you’re loved and supported. No matter where you are.
Like-A-Hug is a wearable social media vest that allows for hugs to be given via Facebook, bringing us closer despite physical distance. Melissa Kit Chow, a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, wanted to convert these likes into a real-time show of love and support, no matter where you are. With Andy Payne and Phil Seaton students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab they have developed this vest that 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.
The concept came over a casual conversation about long-distance relationships
The project was done as an exercise and exploration in shape display. 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 result was Like-A-Hug. Connecting it to Facebook conceptually was simply a way to explore how social media might push past the traditional graphic user interface (GUI).
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