Hug, an app for iPhone that wants to replace emojis with physical feedback, is the product of ex-Googlers Petter and Kaspar Prinz, who also happen to be brothers.
In short, looking to capitalize on the explosion of non-verbal communication via smartphones – most notably the use of emojis instead of words – the brothers sought a way to reintroduce physical feedback and contact into the equation.
“Today friends, couples and families are living on different schedules and different parts of the world. The most written word in 2014 wasn’t ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’, it was the heart ♥ emoji. With Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp we’re constantly trying to keep in touch. But along the way we’ve lost the physical touch. With Hug we’re hoping to change that.” Petter Prinz, Hug’s co-founder and CEO, said.
To use it, you just hug your phone and the proximity sensor will detect the length of the hug; it’s then sent to the receiver as a vibration that lasts as long as you hugged it initially. You can also send Hugs to more than one person at once or send different types of Hug to convey different moods or emotions, the company said.
There’s also a dashboard for your Hug stats that shows how many have been sent or received between specific people, what type of hugs they were and how long you’ve been Hugging overall.
If you’re into hugging your phone, it’s available for free download from the iTunes Store. An Android version is on the way too.