In 1963, John Lennon and Paul McCartney may have said, “I want to hold your hand,” but we all know those rowdy Liverpool boys were aiming for a lot more than that.
Over a half a century later, Frebbles might be virtually doing the same thing.
Frederic Petrignani, an Amsterdam-based entrepreneur, invented the Frebble, a small device that uses haptic technology to mimic the sensation of hand-holding.
Petrignani noticed that, while there were many options to see and hear people through the Internet, the tactile element – sometimes equally or more important when communicating with a loved one – of a conversation wasn’t available. That familiar and comforting squeeze is what Frebble is trying to bring to the table.
The device fits comfortably in a person’s hand, and when you squeeze it, the other person having the corresponding Frebble will feel a gentle pressure on the back of their hand, successfully simulating the feeling of hand-holding.
The gadget is recommended with the use of video chat services like Skype, Facetime, or their own Frebble app, combining for a warmer, more intimate experience. Other Frebble users will be able to see which friends are online through myfrebble.com.
Ergonomically designed to fit in the hand, Frebble has two different pressure sensors at the front that register squeezing, and two vibration motors on the side enhance the haptic experience. A squeeze bar in the hand enclosure is there to simulate the other person holding your hand.
“For a granddaughter calling grandma with special news, for a husband far away from a wife, for distant grown daughters who crave the comfort of their mother’s touch, for a best friend who wants to let her friend know it will all be ok, Frebble connects – as simply, subtly and as powerfully as though the person was right there with you,” says the company on their Kickstarter project page.
While this is all very touching, I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks the Frebble might potentially have a more lucrative future as a sex toy. Right?
I mean, sure, some minor tweaks here and there may be in order to guarantee a more dynamic grip, but the technology is there, and wherever there’s touch or vibration, someone will be there to use it for sexual release.
While the design and its list of components have been finalized, the Kickstarter project was set up in order to pay for the manufacture of the first production run. Its supporters will receive their products shortly after. Frebbles can be pre-ordered for US$89 a pair.