Japan is surely a place where weird inventions are unusually common. However, it is also the region with the highest number of suicides. Combining these two factoids quite successfully, a Japanese company has invented a chair that hugs you to alleviate your loneliness.
A hug usually takes two people, but what if you are in need of one right now, and no one is around or is willing to give you a hug? Though The Inquisitr just reported about a GPS assisted social app that could allow you to find a person near your vicinity who might give you a hug, this special chair completely eliminates the need of another person to complete the hug.
The so-called “tranquility chair” has an upper half with arms that wrap around the sitter. Though they might look big enough to scare away birds and some humans too, they are meant solely to embrace humans ‘affectionately’. UniCare, the company that created the supposedly cheer-inducing chair, is selling it in Japan. The cost of owning a chair that hugs you is just around $419, reported The Daily Mail.
Explaining the concept and the need, a company spokesperson said,
“It makes you feel safe. Anyone can use it, but it is designed for older people. Japan’s population is aging quickly. About 25 percent of citizens are over the age of 65 and the figure is expected to rise to 40 percent in coming decades. That means a lot of elderly people who will need hugs, and that’s where the chair will be helpful. The chairs are comforting for people who live alone — they can talk to them and hug them”
If a chair with seemingly human arms that hugs you isn’t creepy enough, the whole contraption comes fitted with a sound output system that belts out old Japanese music, added the spokesperson,
“They also play old Japanese music, which is nostalgic for older people.”
The chair was showcased at the International Home care and Rehabilitation exhibition in Tokyo, which boasts of showcasing more than 20,000 products, reported Time. The exhibition also showcased baby seal robots known as ‘Paro’. These animatronic devices are specifically developed for people who are too busy or old to care for live pets.
It has been scientifically proven that receiving and giving hugs releases the body’s natural ‘love drug, oxytocin, calming your nervous system and boosting positive emotions. While the robotic hugging chair comes in male and female varieties, would it have the same soothing effect?
[Image Credit | AFP/Getty Images]