From kissing machines to augmented reality sweethearts, Japan leads the way in simulated relationships. That nation's most recent contribution to the field is a coat that hugs you and says sweet nothings in a female voice:
Called the Raiju Coat (Fulfillment Coat), the machine simulates the feeling when a girlfriend hugs the guy around the waist from behind. Well, at least that’s what these students were trying to achieve with just two robotic pincers and a pre-recorded voice to complete the hugging experience. The jacket has motors attached to its back to operate the “arms”, which are controlled through a computer using a USB connection. The wearer of the jacket has to put on headphones to hear the recorded sound of footsteps running from behind, and a voice then says these pre-recorded sentences “I’m sorry, were you waiting?”; “Watch your back!” (in a cute way); “Guess who?”; and “Blind side!” and then followed by the robotic hug.
The future is going to be awesome!
(Image: Tsukuba University)