Oct. 4, 2012 at 5:27 PM ET
While many smartphones can notify you when you get a Facebook like with a cheerful ringtone or pop-up, this vest takes it a step further and actually gives you a friendly squeeze.
The "Like-A-Hug" vest is a project by Melissa Kit Chow at the MIT Media Lab. She wanted to bridge the distance that separates people using social media — after all, as much as you like or comment on someone's photo or post, it's not the same as being there.
Collaborating with MIT colleagues Andy Payne and Phil Seaton, she made this vest, which stays connected to the Internet (presumably through your smartphone) and inflates whenever someone likes something of yours on Facebook.
It's just an art project at this point and very unlikely to be made into a real project, but it's easy to imagine the concept being applied in a more subtle way: a jacket that taps you on the shoulder when you get a text message, for instance.
A little more info on the Like-A-Hug vest and Chow's other work can be found at her site.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.