No girlfriend? No problem! Soon, you might be able to buy a coat that simulates the touch of a woman (specifically, the feeling of being hugged from behind). Just zip up and feel the loving squeeze.
No seriously, a couple of Japanese designers have created it, it’s a real thing. It’s called the Riajyuu Coat (which non-creepily translates into “fulfillment coat”), and it works like this: You put on the coat, which is fitted with a belt that tightens around your waist, simulating a hug from behind.
“Big deal,” you say, “how does this simulate a girlfriend hug and not a giant scary bully man hug?” Good question! There are headphones attacked to the jacket which play recordings of a female voice whispering girlfriend-y stuff in your ear. For instance, your girlfriend coat might say “Sorry I’m late” or “guess who?”
The coat simulates the sound of footsteps running up behind you, as well.
“If I have a girlfriend I think it is a good situation that she suddenly hugs me when I wait for her at the station,” developer Maito Omari totally assures us in the Youtube video about the girlfriend coat.
“The concept of this device is everyone can get the feeling of having a girlfriend,” hardware engineer Hikaru Sugira said of the project.
“It looks like a normal coat at first sight. Users wear this coat, fasten the belt and wear the headphones,” said software engineer Kota Shinbayashi. “In the waist, the system of the winding belt is attached.”
“This makes the feeling that is like girlfriend hugs,” Shinbayashi added.
Does the girlfriend coat sound neat, like maybe you kind of want it now? Too bad, they’re not commercially available, and we really don’t know if they ever will be.
Still, you can watch this video of the girlfriend coat in action, and think about what could have been.