The other day while searching for something else, I stumbled over this story on a "tech site." The idea of being able to pick up the phone and send someone a "real hug" so intrigued me that I brought all the information I have been able to find on the subject to share with my friends! What do you think, everybody? Would you like to hug your Mom or Dad over the phone? Or anyone else who immediately comes to mind! :D Let me know what you think of the Digital Hug Shirt!

Digital Hugs

Someone once told me that a hug increases one’s white blood cell count. Presumably, the mechanism is that hugging another person puts pressure on their axial skeleton and squeezes out white cells from the bone marrow; thereby imparting an immune-enhancing property to a hug. Although this charming and animated theory is appealing, it has not been shown to be true.

However, there is definitely a health benefit from hugging. There are obvious psychological benefits of creating warmth, a sense of closeness, a means of communication, and security. Karen Grewen, from the University Of North Carolina Department Of Psychiatry, conducted a study looking at the benefits of a 20 second hug and hand-holding among 38 couples. The couples who shared a hug showed lower blood pressure and heart rate than the couples who did not have any physical contact. There is also some suggestion that cortisol (a stress hormone) levels decrease and oxytocin the “bonding hormone” increase after hugging.

All of this information is especially promising if you are in close proximity to your loved ones, but what if your beloved is far-removed on distant shores? If such is the case, the ingenious creation from Cutecircuit will be of great interest to you. Cutecircuit is an interaction design and wearable technology company founded in 2004 by Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz. Cutecircuit has designed a shirt that allows you to send and receive hugs digitally.

How does it work? There are Bluetooth sensors embedded in the shirt that feel the warmth, heartbeat, and strength of touch. The sensors are then able to transmit these sensations via mobile phones to the distant lover. The mobile phone receives the incoming signals and transmits them to the Bluetooth sensors on the recipient’s shirt. Of course, one must wear the hug shirt to receive and feel the hugs. All designs by Cutecircuit are safe for both the wearer and the environment, too boot!


The hug shirt may be especially helpful for the isolated, debilitated, or elderly population. When social interaction is a physical challenge, it may be a surrogate means of communication and physical exchange. The hug shirt was nominated by Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2006.


Grewen KM, Anderson BJ, Girdler SS, and Light KC (2003). Warm partner contact is related to lower cardiovascular reactivity. Submitted to Behavioral Medicine, January 2003.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Christie,
I'll have one with a very LARGE phone book.(-:
LMAO! You might become overly attached to your telephone, George! haha! I think it's a great idea and I wonder if they ever got past the proto-type, What would they want price wise for something like that? I'm still trying to find out more about it and when I do, I'll update this discussion. Thanks for commenting George! :D

(by the way I won the bet with myself... I bet that it would be a guy who posted the first comment on this Discussion... Maybe even ONLY GUYS 'cause they just LOVE gadgets, and I was right! haha!
Hi Christie, yes it's very true most of us LOVE gadgets, but for me it struck a nerve I just miss having a lot of HUGs plus it 's a gadget ha ha
See! I knew it! lmao! Where are all your hugs? Are they going to college or university now? I hope I haven't struck another nerve here and you don't have to answer if you don't want to! Here's a little lineup of pics from "someone" who really needs a kiss or a hug, too, or both! :D

John this video was so wonderful I had to go get my box of kleenex from the front room. Lol, I love it A LOT ... thank you so much for sharing... we can all see through this film just what a difference ONE person can make in so many other lives! Even the ones who wouldn't accept a hug, walked away smiling! :D It's nice to watch a little "good news," don't you think?

There's nothing like a hug and a kiss to make a "boo boo" all better! They're like bandaids for the heart! :D

Wonderful group shot, George! Are they part of your family? Thanks for sharing!

Hi MommaToldMeNotToCome,
This theory is interesting!
Hello Ravishankara! Yes, I thought so, too! Would you like to send a hug by phone to someone or get one yourself? It's something to think about! *smile* Thanks for the comment! :D

The hug shirt sounds awesome!
I would LOVE to have one too, Drew! I think it's a wonderful idea! :D


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