like a hugIf you thought the whole concept of "poking" somebody on Facebook was creepy, well, you might not be a huge fan of the new "Like-a-Hug" coat. Designed by MIT researchers (I'm assuming very lonely MIT researchers), the Like-a-Hug is basically an inflatable vest-type thing which somehow syncs up with your Facebook account -- so that whenever a friend "likes" something you post, it magically fills with air to "mimic a 'hugging' sensation."

Sort of like a blood pressure cuff, I take it, except for your entire upper body. (So sort of like a cross between a blood pressure cuff and a boa constrictor? And so fashionable, too.)

Confused? Here's how one of Like-a-Hug's designers, Melissa Chow, explains the device:

Like-A-Hug is a wearable social media vest that allows for hugs to be given via Facebook, bringing us closer despite physical distance. The vest inflates when friends 'Like' a photo, video, or status update on the wearer's wall, thereby allowing us to feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs. Hugs can also be sent back to the original sender by squeezing the vest and deflating it.

Um, how ... sweet. And, uh ... practical? Maybe if you're in a long-distance relationship? Or in solitary confinement? Or very, very afraid of germs?

One thing's for sure: The Like-a-Hug promotional video is seriously entertaining. Like-a-Saturday Night Live Sketch. In fact, part of me suspects this idea somehow started as a script for an SNL commercial parody ... then somebody said, Hey! I bet we could really make that coat! And then they did, and now they might as well try to sell it.

Hey, that's cool and all. As long as they don't try to invent the "Like-a-Poke."

Would you wear the Like-a-Hug coat?

like a hug HR 1 2 from Melissa Chow on Vimeo.


Image via Melissa Chow/Vimeo