April 13, 2017
What if you could hug anyone from anywhere in the world? With the launch of a Kickstarter campaign this week, a budding inventor and entrepreneur is taking on that challenge, all neatly packaged into a stuffed animal. Parihug (Pari for short) is a plush animal that when hugged sends a signal to another Parihug that in turn vibrates. Using either a wifi or bluetooth connection, Parihug will let you create a physical connection with your loved ones from anywhere in the world (assuming you have internet or cell service).
Nearly a year ago during the Innovate! and Celebrate conference, the TechCo community first met Parihug’s founder Xyla Foxli as she presented the Pari prototype during the Startup of the Year competition. During the public demos, Pari had constant crowds around the table, and those who got to experience the stuffed animals were seen walking away with smiles on their face. Our team in particular has been very eager to see this campaign launch as both the founder and prototype were promising.
The Hug Felt Around the World
So, how exactly does Parihug work and what does it do? Last year, Parihug only came in one form, a medium sized plush animal. One person hugs the Parihug and the connected Parihug will then vibrate (what they call purring).
Depending on how hard you hug it, the second one will also vibrate even more. In addition to the standard Parihug, the campaign also launched with a small surprise: Little Pari. The smaller version doesn’t have sensors or a haptic motor in it, but features a special code that can then be used in the connected app to send virtual hugs.
If two people hug connected to a connected Pari, then each person will feel the huggers heartbeat. This will either be based on data from a fitness band like Fitbit or Apple Watch, but it will guesstimate your heart rate without it.
On cleanliness, the internal electronics can also be easily removed, leaving Pari to be added to the wash. It also doesn’t use Li-Po batteries, which means it’s safe for traveling.
Officially launched on Kickstarter, Foxli is seeking an initial crowdfunding goal of $30,000. Three days in and the campaign is just shy of $20,000, which is a promising sign that they will hit their goal by the end of the week. Backer rewards are expected to ship at the end of the end of the year, with the product already complete and the manufacturing process ready to go.
Read more about our Startup of the Year competition to get your startup noticed
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