The ‘Hugging Chair’ as it is commonly been called, was first displayed at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo, by UniCare.The target consumer is the ageing population of Japan. Almost 40% of the total population of Japan will be above the age of 65 in the coming decades.
The anti-loneliness chair is sure to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy. In the present times where children do not have time for their parents, the hugging chair will try to replicate the embrace of a loved one. The elderly can sit in it and forget their worries for sometime. The chair on the first glance looks like a larger than life doll made out of fabrics. It has long wrap around arms that give you the most bear like hug always. There is also a version for the wheelchair so that hugs are never far. It is priced a $416, which is not much for lifetime supply of hugs.
UniCare is also offering a “Life Rhythm Doll” that reminds the elderly to take their pills and to use the washroom. Their baby robotic seal ‘Paro’ is very popular for therapeutic treatments.The chair beckons you with its friendly face and attractive hat. People from all ages can get a hug and feel snug in the long arms of the chair. Living alone for the elderly is not easy, they can now talk to the chair and hug it too. They can also play Japanese music that is soothing for their nerves.
A chair that tries to replaces the hugs from your most loved ones, seems a bit ironic. Lets appreciate the thought that went behind it.