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The future of affection (13 Sep 2004)
Similarly researchers at the Play Studio of Sweden's Interactive Institute have developed interconnected pillows that let people who are far apart maintain a link with each other.

Woven into the pillows are electroluminescent fibres. When one pillow is hugged or squeezed, its partner pillow lights up.

"We wanted to see how technology can be used to communicate something other than just information," says Margot Jacobs, an interaction design researcher at the Play Studio.

"We wanted to try to get the emotional content into it somehow."

What is important to these projects, and any other that helps people communicate how they feel about each other, is control says Ms Jacobs.

Without the ability to decide when and what you want to communicate the opportunity to show how you feel using technology can become oppressive, she says.

"You always have to be able to turn it off," she says.
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