Screencap of the Like-A-Hug promotional video
Some of the brightest minds in the world walk the halls of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, so it’s somewhat surprising that the latest and greatest invention from a group of MIT researchers amounts to a glorified inflatable jacket. The Like-A-Hug is a coat that keeps track of its wearer’s Facebook Likes; then, through a Process Too Complicated To Explain, the jacket inflates with air, in effect mimicking the sensation of being hugged.
Why would anyone ever want this to own one of these jackets? According to Melissa Chow, one of the inventors of the Like-A-Hug, the jacket brings warmth to our cold digital lives:
“Like-A-Hug is a wearable social media vest that allows for hugs to be given via Facebook, bringing us closer despite physical distance. 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.”
Honestly, if I were the MIT professor that oversaw this assignment, I would given the students an F (for Facebook) and handed in my resignation to MIT for overseeing such a project. Afterwards, I would have comforted myself by wearing the Like-A-Hug and posting countless pictures of LOLCats on my Facebook wall. [Atlantic Cities]
Igor Bonifacic is a simple intern working for the Toronto Standard. You can follow him on twitter at @igorbonifacic.