Anyone who's had to spend a long time away from someone they love will know how difficult it can be. Frebble aims to make it a little easier by simulating the holding of hands with the person at the other end of an online video chat.
Frebble looks like a small hook that a user holds in his or her hand while chatting over video with a loved one. The device is able to detect squeezes, and it then puts pressure on the back side of the other person's device, simulating the feeling of holding hands. Of course, nothing can replace actual human contact, but when that's not possible, something like this offers a nice alternative.
Each Frebble features two pressure sensors, two vibrating motors (like those found in video game controllers) to enhance feedback, and what the creator's call a "squeeze bar" that puts the pressure on the back of the hand. It features Bluetooth to connect to a computer wirelessly.
For the time being, Frebble will only work with Google Chrome (v24 or higher) and Firefox (v16 or later). Android and iOS apps are planned for the future, and those should be ready by the time the devices ship.
The Frebble team is seeking funding on Kickstarter to bring its hand-holding device to market. Backers can pledge US$89 for an early bird Frebble and, if all goes according to plan, delivery is estimated to begin in October.
The Kickstarter pitch below provides more information on Frebble.
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