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Idle Science Technology

Japanese Build a Virtual Hugging Vest 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the cold-embrace dept.
If your only human contact is through a little computer window in a poorly lit room, your life just got a little sadder thanks to Dzmitry Tsetserukou, an assistant professor at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan. He has designed a collection of motors, sensors, and speakers, stitched into what looks like the straps of a backpack, called the iFeel_IM. The device can simulate a heart beat, the tickling sensation of a butterflies in your stomach, generate warmth and hug even the most repugnant shut-in. From the article: "The quickened thump of an angry heart beat, a spine-tingling chill of fear, or that warm-all-over sensation sparked by true love -- all can be felt even as your eyes stay glued to a computer screen." This device is not to be confused with the hugging vest created by engineers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for people with anxiety disorders and the autistic.

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Japanese Build a Virtual Hugging Vest

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  • JPod (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xerocint (1631371) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:12PM (#31778556)
    Like that thing in JPod...?
  • Re:ASD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Iron Condor (964856) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:45PM (#31779054)
    So wait - artificial physical contact generated by a computer can desensitize people from their real fear of being touched?
    But artificial mayhem in video games generated by a computer does not desensitize them against real violence?

    Somewhere, a behavioral psychologist is quietly crying...

  • Re:ASD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @01:10PM (#31779522) Journal

    So wait - artificial physical contact generated by a computer can desensitize people from their real fear of being touched?
    But artificial mayhem in video games generated by a computer does not desensitize them against real violence?
    Somewhere, a behavioral psychologist is quietly crying...

    Your upbringing and society (usually) set appropriate boundaries on violent behavior.

    You can't even begin to compare a subset of the population with heavy duty anxiety and/or various spectrum disorders to the average person playing video games. If you want to compare anxiety and/or spectrum disorders with sociopaths, you might be on the right road to a valid comparison.

    You just can't claim that certain types of stimuli will equally effect those inside and outside the psychological norm.

  • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @01:17PM (#31779656) Homepage Journal

    Somehow I envision a bunch of smiling tweenage Japanese schoolgirls in an Internet cafe each wearing one of these emblazoned with a Hello Kitty logo staring at the avatar of their boyfriend who is sitting at a nearby computer in the very same cafe.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @05:39PM (#31782972)

    Looking back at lonelier episodes in my life and looking at the lonely episodes, sometimes decades, of others I notice the habit of notably more frequent hot bathing during those times. I've come to find that a warm bath is a suprisingly good substitute for the physical and emotional warmth of a sustained intimate embrace. (Gee, I can't believe how technical that sentence sounds ...)

    I'm quite sure that many people subconsciously chose a warm bath as a substitute without really being aware of it. I don't think this vest can beat that. Or a mammal pet, for that matter - the more obvious choice of human substitute for the socially handicapped.

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

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