From cash to lemonade, there is no shortage of things it’s possible to send over the internet. Well, now you can add one more to the mix, since a new Kickstarter campaign for a stuffed animal toy allows you to send hugs to a loved one — even when they are nowhere near you.
Called Parihug, it is a concept designed to let moms on business trips still hug their kids, people in a long-distance relationship hug each other, or grandparents who live across the country connect with their grandchildren.
The campaign was just successfully funded, and at the time of this writing it boasted a hefty $46,198, quit a bit more than its $30,000 funding goal. And with 5 days to go, you still have a chance to order it for yourself.
“Each Pari comes with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so an adult with a smartphone can use it with [a smartphone] app, but a child without a smartphone can stay connected to their home Wi-Fi,” founder Xyla Foxlin told Digital Trends. “The haptic responses use a single vibration motor embedded in the electronics pack, and the sensor system is patent-pending, but based on a barometric pressure sensor. This means we are processing a range of values, so the haptic hug response is actually equivalent to how much its pair is being hugged.”
Foxlin said that she built the first Pari as an experiment at a hackathon. At the time, she was dating a guy who lived 1,300 miles away and thought it was a cute way of staying in touch. (“We are no longer together, but not because Pari didn’t work,” she told us.) The concept snowballed and she wound up receiving a 1517 Fund grant of $1,000 to try turning it into a company.
We first wrote about the project at CES 2016 but since then Foxlin has further developed the idea, including creating a new design for the cuddly creature itself, which now sports an aardvark-esque animal complete with a large snout for resting over your shoulder.
If this sounds something you would be interested in, you can currently place a pre-order by pledging for the Kickstarter campaign — but the campaign ends on May 16. A pair of Paris will set you back $105, with shipping set to take place in December.
Until then, you will just have to hug the old-fashioned way. With emojis.