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The Hug Shirt October 10, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in innovative interfaces, remote communication, wearables.


The Hug Shirt created by CuteCircuit is a shirt that allows people to send and receive the physical sensation of a hug over long distances. Embedded in the shirt are sensors that feel the hug’s strength, the skin’s warmth, and the heartbeat rate of the sender. Actuators re-create those sensations in the shirt of the distant loved one.

How does it work?The Hug Shirt is a Bluetooth accessory for Java enabled mobile phones. Hug shirts don’t have any assigned phone number, all the data goes from the sensors Bluetooth to your mobile phone and your mobile phone delivers the hug data to your friend’s phone and it is seamlessly transmitted Bluetooth to his or her shirt!
Sending hugs is as easy as sending an SMS and you will be able to send hugs while you are on the move, in the same way and to the same places you are able to make phone calls (Rome to Tokyo, New York to Paris).

The system is very simple: a Hug Shirt (Bluetooth with sensors and actuators), a Bluetooth java enabled mobile phone with the Hug Me java software running (it understands what the sensors are communicating), and on the other side another phone and another shirt. If you do not have a Hug Shirt but know that your friend has one you can still send them a hug creating it with the HugMe software and it will be delivered to your friend’s Hug Shirt!

When touching the red areas of the Hug Shirt your mobile phone receives the sensors data via Bluetooth (hug pressure, skin temperature, heartbeat rate, time you are hugging for, etc) and then delivers it to the other person.

The hugs shirt is Bluetooth and works with mobile phones on any bandwidth (900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz and so on). Runs on rechargeable batteries.

Why the Hug Shirt?

Interfaces and systems must be intuitive, natural, and compatible with our emotional status. Combining emotion and technology should be part of every design process. An increasing mobility of humans throughout the globe, has brought loved ones to spend most of their time apart from each other. Humans need physical contact with each other. Technology should allow for a pleasant Human-Human Interaction.