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.
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)