World's top IT fair embraces 'cuddle jacket'

Mar 06, 2013
The logo of the CeBIT IT fair is pictured on February 28, 2011 in Hanover, central Germany. Everyone needs a hug now and then, but at the CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair, even that can be created with technology as a Singapore-based firm unveiled its "cuddle jacket", hailed as a global first.

Everyone needs a hug now and then, but at the CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair, even that can be created with technology as a Singapore-based firm unveiled its "cuddle jacket", hailed as a global first.

The normal-looking fleece-like item has small that can be inflated to simulate the feeling of a cuddle, explained James Teh, founder of T-ware.

Controlled by smartphone, the type of "cuddle" can vary from light pressure on the shoulders to a full-blown bear hug.

But the is not just a gadget. It has a practical application in helping children with learning disabilities, said Teh.

Children suffering from autism and other sensory disorders often get agitated when confronted by loud noises or new faces. Trials with the jacket have found that the soothing effect of the jacket can help to calm them down.

The jacket also measures the vital signs of the child and can alert a carer or parent to when sensory overload might be imminent.

It has already been tested with success in schools in the United States as well as in families in Britain, Australia and Singapore.

"We believe this is the first wearable technology in the world for children with sensory disorders," Teh told AFP.

Retailing for $499 (380 euros), the jacket is hardly cheap but carers and parents have found it reduces the need to be attentive to a child with learning disorders around the clock.

Teh hopes to be able to roll out the jacket more widely and not just for children with learning difficulties but also for adults wanting the of physical contact.

"Hugs benefit everyone. You get the same feeling as when you get a massage," he said, noting the popularity of massage chairs.

The , in the northern German city of Hanover, is the world's biggest high-tech fair, welcoming some 4,100 exhibitors from around 70 countries. It runs until March 9.

Explore further: Gift Guide: Strong photo, video gear options

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan's 'Sense-Roid' replicates human hug

Jun 23, 2011

Japanese inventors have pushed the frontiers of technology with the ultimate companion for lonely singles -- a wired torso-shaped device that you can hug and that hugs you back.

Watch, Listen, and Feel Movies with a Haptics Jacket

Mar 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sometimes you may feel a shiver go up your spine as you're watching a chilling movie scene, but a new jacket can actually give you a real shiver. The haptics jacket, designed by scientists ...

3D printer wows world's top high-tech fair

Mar 05, 2013

Of all the futuristic gadgets on show at CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair, few drew bigger crowds Tuesday than a 3D printer creating solid objects in plastic from a computer display.

Virtual blue skies brighten the office of the future

Mar 06, 2012

There is light at hand for those who toil away in a poorly-lit office. Scientists at the CeBIT high-tech fair have developed a system that gives the feeling of working outside under blue skies.

Recommended for you

Ear-check via phone can ease path to diagnosis

Dec 18, 2014

Ear infections are common in babies and young children. That it is a frequent reason for young children's visit to doctors comes as no consolation for the parents of babies tugging at their ears and crying ...

Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

Dec 18, 2014

Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what?

BlackBerry launches Classic in last-ditch effort

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones—and most smartphone customers—have embraced touch screens.

Tag Heuer changes tune, now looking at smartwatches

Dec 16, 2014

Barely a few months after dismissing Apple's smartwatch, the new chief executive of luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer conceded Tuesday that such a hi-tech gadget might after all have a place in his firm's ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.