Staying emotionally connected over physical distance is one of the areas wearable technologies can shine and be of great usefulness.
Design concepts like the Hug Shirt or pillows that send emotions over the internet or cellphone networks are first examples how to use soft objects like clothing in which we are wrapped or pillows which have a strong emotional appeal to us.
The Huggy Pajama, developed by Mixed Reality Lab at the National University of Singapore is another interesting concept design exploring different technological options to transmit emotional affections like hugging, warmth and mood color sequences to children.
A hug and other emotional information will be send from a transmitter device which could have the form of a Teddy bear with embedded pressure sensing circuit sensing the varying range of force produced by hugging the bear.
The hugging force will then be send via the internet to the receiving Huggy Pajama which has embedded air pockets, heating elements and color changing fabric.
The Huggy Pajama is able to simulate the hug according to the inputs from the hugging interface in the Teddy bear as well as generate warmth to accompany the hug, display color changes according to distance of separation between parent and child.
A very lovely and sensible design concept, likable not only because of the wearable technology used for it but also because of the emotional distance bridging concept. Such distant hugging is not only of great value for parent-child relations but also for many other situations, a very interesting concept as we can see on various email contacts we get from people around the world regarding the Hug Shirt and pillow concepts we posted about earlier.
The technologies involved are complex which might slow down a bit the commercialization for this or similar distant hugging designs but once the technology is mastered there are people who would love to see and buy them in shops.
A very detailed project description can be found at the Mixed Reality Lab Huggy Pajama Website which I highly recommend to have a look at.