February 10, 2011
From The Telegraph:
Sensory equipment enabling people to share a hug across cyberspace has been in development for several years, and experts insist it will one day become part of everyday life.
Adrian Cheok, associate professor at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University developed one such system, based on the award-winning Hug-Shirt, that allows parents and children to share "cyberhugs" while miles apart.
Teddy bears were fitted with sensors that detected when they were hugged by the parent, and the sensation was transmitted to the child via a special jacket fitted with heated copper wires.
Speaking at the time, he told CNN: "For a while technology has been driving people apart, locking them in front of computer screens, now we hope to use it to bring them together."
His product did not achieve global success but last year scientists based in Japan built a similar product – a wearable robot dubbed "iFeel_IM!" ("I feel therefore I am").
The prototype, which looked like a network of connected straps similar to a harness, was designed to add a human-like level of sensation to online conversations.
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