Now you can finally feel the 'touch' in long-distance relationships

| Updated: Feb 16, 2017 12:50 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 15 (ANI): 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 interconnected gloves, where the fingers 'flex' in one glove and the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other. Study author Carman Neustaedter from Simon Fraser University in Canada said, "It's all about feeling connected." Researchers have designed a pair of interconnected gloves called 'Flex-N-Feel'. When fingers 'flex' in one glove, the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other. The glove's tactile sensors allow the wearer to 'feel' the movements. "Users can make intimate gestures such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug," Neustaedter stated. "The act of bending or flexing one's finger is a gentle and subtle way to mimic touch," Neustaedter added. To capture the flex actions, the sensors are attached to a microcontroller and provide a value for each bend and are transmitted to the 'feel' glove using a WiFi module. The sensors are also placed strategically on the palm side of the fingers in order to better feel the touch. 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, and another that enables users to video-stream a remote partner's activities to a long-distance partner at home (called Be With Me). "The focus here is providing that connection, and in this case, a kind of physical body," Neustaedter explained. "Long-distance relationships are more common today, but distance don't have to mean missing out on having a physical presence and sharing space," says Neustaedter. "If people can't physically be together, we're hoping to create the next best technological solutions." (ANI)
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