The title of today’s post does sound like an oxymoron. However, if today’s Japanese technology firms had their way, it would become a reality.
Maintaining a long distance relationship can be tough but modern technology — mobile phones, Skype, instant messaging — has made things a little easier. However, physical nearness, touch, holding hands with your near one, who is away, is still illusive. As per this news item in the in TOI, the scientists at Japan’s largest carrier, NTT Docomo are working towards removing this barrier.
The scientists have created a heart shaped device called “Taion-heart” that can connect to a phone using Bluetooth. You hold the device in your hand and squeeze it. It transmits information about the pressure, the temperature, your heart beats, pulse to an application running on the phone. The app then sends this data to your partner’s phone.
Your partner then holds his / her taion-heart in hand. The application on his phone now transmits the data received from your taion-heart to your counterpart’s. The partners device now starts vibrating, expands, warms up or even glows based on the signals received.
The company said that couples can hold the heart in bed as they sleep to feel close to their absent partner.
This isn’t the only odd device for lovers to emanate from Japan. Few months ago university researchers created HaptiHug, an electronic vest that translates affectionate words spoken online into real-time hugs.
None of these gadgets can really come anywhere near the real physical presence. I use one of the age-old methods that makes you feel your loved one is near you when you are away. I carry my wife’s shawl with me when I have to go away.