When it comes to communication over the wireless internet, we have conquered the realms of textual, audio and even video messaging. But what about the primary human-oriented ambit of touch? Well, it seems some resourceful tech designers (from Holland Haptics) have that unique angle covered too, by virtue of the Frebble! Touted as a wireless device that allows you to “hold your loved one’s hand” from any location on our planet, the contrivance works with the implementation of haptic technology.
The squeeze of the hands is indeed a precedent for powerful emotional bonding – be it between parents and their children or between a husband and his wife. The Frebbie makes this personal experience possible over long distances by simulating the touch of holding and squeezing another person’s hand. For this fascinating scope to work, the two people communicating over a long distance need to have two Frebble devices (one for each person). So, when you squeeze your personal Frebble, the corresponding Frebble of your loved one will exert pressure on his/her hand. In essence, it will improve upon the nature of intimacy, especially when used in conjunction with video chat services like Skype.
This tactile sensing ambit is created by two pressure sensors on the front and two vibration motors attached at the sides. The arrangement is accompanied by a special squeeze bar along the hand enclosure that rather replicates the feel of holding hands. The Bluetooth device in its current state works via browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox; while its future capability will entail dedicated Android and iOS apps for ‘remotely holding hands’ with the aid of our smartphones.
The innovative amplitude of haptic technology is further bolstered by the design of the Frebble itself. Boasting of an ergonomic yet impact resistant plastic-made form, the gizmo incorporates rubberized pads for enhanced grip. The usability credentials are also taken care of, with the device’s capacity to function continuously for 4 straight hours and its ability to be recharged via micro USB cable.
The intimacy-oriented bantam machine is currently undergoing crowd funding in the Kickstarter platform, with pricing starting from $89 for each Frebble.