If you are one of those who have got bored of "liking" things on Facebook and something more from their social media experience, a group of three MIT students may have found something exciting for you - a vest that translates a Facebook "like" into a real hug! Now that's taking Facebook experience to a whole new level altogether.Explaining the concept of the vest, Melissa Kit Chow, the inventor (in collaboration with two other students, Andy Pyne and Phil Seaton) of the social vest called Like-A-Hug writes on her website,
Like-A-Hug is a wearable social media vest that allows for hugs to be given via Facebook, bringing us closer despite physical distance. The vest inflates when friends 'Like' a photo, video, or status update on the wearer's wall, thereby allowing us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs. Hugs can also be sent back to the original sender by squeezing the vest and deflating it.The project was done as an exercise and exploration in shape display. We came up with the concept over a casual conversation about long-distance relationships and the limitations of video chat interfaces like Skype. The concept of telepresence arose, and we toyed with the idea of receiving hugs via wireless technology. The result was Like-A-Hug. Connecting it to Facebook conceptually was simply a way to explore how social media might push past the traditional graphic user interface (GUI).
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via www.melissakitchow.com[/caption]It would be an interesting exercise to extend this tangible extension of virtual interaction to other Facebook activities like "poke", "unfriend" or "follow"? What would it feel like in these cases?The more important question to be asked here is social media (and thus, the virtual world) becoming too much a part of our lives? First we had Google Glass, and now this? Is this a welcome development?