By Evan Ackerman
Need a hug? Yeah, so do I, but there’s nobody around right now besides my pet snake, and when she hugs me, it’s only because she’s hungry. Lucky for me, I’ll soon be able to buy myself a Hug Shirt, which is able to reproduce hugs electronically via cellphone. Designers at CuteCircuit conducted numerous hugging sessions in order to map the most critical hug intensity points, which include upper arms, upper back, waistline, neck, shoulders, and hips. The shirt has “hugging output actuators” over each of these points, which are able to duplicate the warmth, pressure, duration, and even heartbeat of the hugger on the huggee. All you need is two Hug Shirts and a Java and Bluetooth enabled cell phone, and whenever you hug yourself, the exact characteristics of your hug will be measured by your Hug Shirt and sent via SMS to the second Hug Shirt. If you happen to be naked and feeling huggy, you can still send someone a hug with special HugMe software for your cellphone. I’m happy to report that the Hug Shirt is lead-free and non-toxic, and runs on rechargeable batteries. Even better, it’s fully washable. And best of all, it’s supposed to be available for purchase by this holiday season, for around $300.