Facebook has always tried to incorporate the idea that human beings just want to reach out and touch somebody. (Poke. Poke.) But while at MIT, Melissa Chow, Andy Payne, and Phil Seaton dreamed up a system that would turn connections made over social media into physical contact. They call it the “Like-a-hug.”
The inflatable jackets are activated when a Facebook friend “likes” a photo or a message. The jacket encompasses its wearer in an embrace — a simulacrum of a hug, sent over the Internet.