B-Day Chair gives out hugs when you get Facebook happy birthday posts

Outback B-day Chair

Developed by ad agency Lew’Lara\TBWA in partnership with Outback Steakhouse, the “Outback B-Day Chair” is designed to dole out hugs when the person sitting in it receives ‘Happy Birthday’ posts on their Facebook Timeline. Basically, it’s a way for your Facebook friends to virtually give you a hug if they aren’t sitting at the table celebrating your birthday with you. This social media concept is currently being tested in Brazil. Countries in South America have been something of a hotbed for quirky product testing as of late; Huggies TweetPee and the Budweiser’s Buddy Cup for instance.

Outback Chair Facebook reaction photosTo take advantage of the B-Day Chair, a user logs into the tablet connected to the chair using their Facebook account login information. This authorizes the application to post updates on the Facebook wall and look for interactions from friends. After logging in, the application posts a Facebook update on the user’s Timeline letting all her friends now that she’s sitting in the B-Day Chair.

When friends send their birthday wishes on the Timeline, LED lights embedded within the chair light up in red and a fan starts blowing silver tinsel in the air highlighted with a blue light. At this point, two robotic arms extend from the sides of the chair and give the user a hug from their virtual friends. The arms are covered in a felt material that’s similar to a stuffed animal or a puppet. When all this happens, the tablet takes a photo of the user’s reaction and posts it on the Facebook Timeline. This provides immediate feedback for the friend that wished them a happy birthday.  

Regarding expansion plans, Outback Steakhouse plans to roll out one of the B-Day Chairs in all of their restaurant locations within Brazil. Assuming the product testing is successful, Outback could launch the chair at locations around the United States as well as the rest of the world.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Outdoors

Sleep comfortably under the stars in one of the best tents

An essential piece of gear whether you're camping in your backyard or on a multi-day backpacking trip, here are our picks of the best tents currently on the market from car camping varieties to the best three-person option.
Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Social Media

Snap a photo to follow a new friend on Instagram with its Nametags tool

Skip the typing and search bar -- Instagram now allows you to add friends using the in-app camera. Nametags are scannable graphics that will lead straight to your Instagram profile.
Computing

Facebook’s latest data breach could earn Europeans thousands in compensation

Facebook users in Europe distressed about Facebook's revelation that its latest breach left as many as 50 million users exposed could get some compensation. Facebook also faces a class-action suit and a broader GDPR investigation.
News

Voice commands could be coming to Facebook Messenger

Thanks to digital assistants, voice controls are becoming commonplace. One day, we may even be using them in Facebook Messenger. The company has confirmed that it is currently conducting internal tests for Messenger voice commands.
Mobile

Find love with the best LGBT dating apps for iOS and Android

If you're looking to meet someone new, look no further than your phone. Whether it's just a date, or you're looking for something a little more serious, here are the best LGBT dating apps available for Android and iOS.
Smart Home

Creepy or convenient? Facebook’s new Portal smart display follows you around the room

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Amazon Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls between FB friends. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you…
Mobile

2018's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data

After Facebook revealed that 50 million users may have been exposed as a result of a security vulnerability, Google announced it discovered a bug that left 500,000 Google+ users exposed. It will also shut down Google+.
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make an animated GIF

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Social Media

Instagram says its A.I. can track down bullying in photos

Instagram is turning to artificial intelligence to help it root out bullying on its platform. Following similar efforts to target bullying in comments, the company now has systems capable of detecting bullying in photos, too.