Now you can finally feel the touch in long-distance relationships
Can phone calls, FaceTime and Skype conversations substitute the physical touch of your partner in long distance relationship? Good news! Scientists have designed a pair of gloves, where the fingers ‘flex’ in one glove and the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other.
The glove’s tactile sensors allow the wearer to ‘feel’ the movements. Study author Carman Neustaedter from Simon Fraser University in Canada said, “It’s all about feeling connected. Users can make intimate gestures such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug,” Neustaedter said.
“The act of bending or flexing one’s finger is a gentle and subtle way to mimic touch,” Neustaedter added.
The sensors are also placed strategically on the palm side of the fingers in order to feel the touch better. A soft-switch on both gloves also allows either partner to initiate the touch. Other projects also focus on shared experiences, including a virtual reality video conferencing system that lets one “see through the eyes” of a remote partner.
“Long-distance relationships are more common today, but distance doesn’t have to mean missing out on having a physical presence and sharing space,” says Neustaedter.