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, “…I think it’s a good situation that she suddenly hug from behind me when I’m waiting for her in the train station.”
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, “I’m sorry I’m late!” 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.