Social networks have connected people across the world, but sometimes having 350 Facebook friends just doesn’t satisfy as much as one good, old-fashioned hug. In this regard, the world can feel like a lonely place. However, several Japanese students are looking to curb their desire for physical affection through a device called the “Riajyuu coat.”
A group of students at the University of Tsukuba in Japan have developed a coat that gives the wearer the sensation of being hugged from behind. The device is made up of a pair of headphones and a coat outfitted with a belt attached around the waist that tightens to give you the feeling you’re being hugged. One of the students talks about his fantasy when he’s using the device saying, â€œ…I think it’s a good situation that she suddenly hug from behind me when I’m waiting for her in the train station.â€
In the demo shown in the video below, the wearer hears the clopping of shoes running and a sweet (almost Anime-like) voice come through the headphones exclaiming, â€œI’m sorry I’m late!â€ Then the belt tightens. The belt mechanism is bulky in certain areas, which doesn’t make it ideal for public use. So, you’ll have to just imagine yourself in a crowded train station waiting for your special someone. But it can’t be any odder than a vest that inflates every time someone likes your Facebook status, which was developed by a group of MIT students. For those of us that aren’t lonely, talented engineering students, you’ll have to live without one as neither of these products are available for purchase.