I2m_cutecircuit_hugshirt_1 One of the more interesting reports to come out of Wired’s NextFest event held in NY this past weekend was about a wearable technology company called CuteCircuit and their "hug shirt."  The shirt uses bluetooth technology or mobile messaging through SMS to relay the sensation of a hug from one wearer to another anywhere in the world.  While it might seem like yet another technology toy with limited usefulness, the concept got me thinking about a new frontier of uses for wearable technology that integrates with bluetooth technology.  The most basic benefit of this is that a huge number of mobile phones already have bluetooth and this presents lots of integration opportunities.  Bluetooth hugs are just the beginning of the potential uses for this technology. 

By offering the benefit of touch and integrating it with voice, other applications could include virtual sight assistance for the blind, helping children away from parents for the first time deal with separation anxiety, and even add the dimension of touch to the webchat.  Even in the concept of the bluetooth virtual hug, another marketing application could be smart charities that offer virtual hugs from celebrities like Angelina Jolie or George Clooney for the price of a small donation.  Who wouldn’t donate money for a bluetooth hug from Salma Hayek?

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