Most of us are used to sensory input, but children with Autism often have major issues with sensory intimacy. For this reason, T.Ware from Singapore developed the T.Jacket, a vest that literally gives you a hug by inflating air bags around the vest. Most importantly, parents can give ‘virtual hugs’ by using a smartphone app, so they never have to actually touch and trigger a possible attack.
So how does it work and where can you get it?
What is the T.Jacket?
The T.Jacket was designed specifically for kids with autism, and is similar in design to the ‘like a hug’ jacket that gives you a hug every time you get a Facebook like, and the ‘inflatable jacket’ that inflates with a hand pump. The T.Jacket is connected to an app that tracks the GPS location of the jacket, and can be used to give a hug in two places at one of three different strength settings. T.Ware designed the jacket for parents to use sensory input as a reward to their autistic kids, and to be used to improve mood, calm the child and of course, give a sensory reward. Because the T.Jacket works with an app, it can be used from almost anywhere, which is perfect for parents who might not necessarily be at home.
The jacket also tracks activity levels, agitation, and more, and then allows you to check these levels to see more easily when and what agitates your child. While not for everyone, parents and caregivers of children with autism, ADHD, and other sensory input disorders can definitely benefit from this vest not only because it can be used to sooth and comfort, but also because it provides the caregiver with a huge amount of data that they can use to adjust habits to reduce attacks and keep their child happier.
How Does it Work?
The hugging part of the T.Jacket works using a simple inflatable series of air bags. The bags inflate on command and then deflate soon after to give the child the impression of a hug. Hugs can be given from 5 sensory directions, and at three pressure levels, which gives parents and caregivers a great deal of control.
The sensors in the vest are completely integrated to track heart rate, skin temperature, and ECG to determine the child’s level of agitation, activity, and attention, and then is transferred via Bluetooth to the mobile app, or via internet to the computer program.
Because the T.Jacket charges using a Mini USB, and because it looks just like a regular jacket, most kids won’t have any trouble wearing it wherever they want.
The T.Jacket costs $399 and comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. Short sleeve, long sleeve, and hooded options are all available, and the jacket is available in blue, grey, heather gray, and potentially a few other colors as well. Currently T. Ware is only accepting large scale orders and is accepting rentals for therapy centers. Unfortunately unless a local store or therapy center puts them up for sale, they cannot be purchased yet. However, we fully expect to see them on the market extremely soon.