What you see above looks like Casper the friendly ghost being given the human face treatment, and it sure as heck does not look adorable in any way. However, this huggable communication medium with a heartbeat known as Hugvie is actually a cushion that has a pocket inside, letting you store a smartphone within, turning it into a grown up soft toy of sorts. Based on the Telenoid robot developed by Osaka University’s Professor Ishiguro, there is a microcontroller inside as well as vibrators that will match the characteristics of the caller’s voice, letting you have a far more interactive experience whenever you talk with your family and friends over the phone.
A couple of vibrators will result in a throbbing sound which is similar to that of a heartbeat, where the strength of this pulse can be faster and stronger, depending on the volume as well as tone of the caller’s voice. Expect the Hugvie to retail for approximately $60, and it does not seem too enticing to own one as it scares the pants out of me – reminding me of those pick-me-up dolls that open their eyes when you do so.