A private research institution in Kyoto Prefecture has developed a vibrating body pillow that enables cellphone users to "feel" more close to the person they are speaking with.
The Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International released the "Hugvie" body pillow to reporters on April 26.
An Osaka University laboratory led by professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, famous for android robot research, played a central role in developing the product.
The Hugvie weighs 600 grams and is 75 centimeters long. It is shaped like a human with both arms stretched out. It has the soft touch of a cushion filled with beads.
When a user inserts a cellphone into the Hugvie's head and talks on it, a microphone picks up the voice of the person they are speaking with and conveys it to a vibrator inside the pillow so that it reproduces a "heartbeat."
The palpitations become faster when the interlocutor's voice becomes more agitated.
Users can "feel" the presence of the person they are speaking with more closely by hugging the pillow, ATR representatives said.
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