We first learned about the Parihug at CES this year. It’s a stuffed animal with an accelerometer and motor tucked inside that sends your kids hugs remotely, so if you’re away on business or at work, you can tap on Parihug’s companion iOS / Android app to send a hug. Pari will buzz in return, so long as it’s connected to Wi-Fi, thereby telling your kid you’re thinking of him or her. Parihug launches on Kickstarter today.
It’s a simple concept that its creators say kids catch onto quickly. To me, the motor feels more like a phone vibration than a hug, but still, Parihug was created under the pretense that kids already love to cuddle with a stuffed animal and that haptic feedback amplifies those warm stuffed animal feelings. Parents don’t need their own Pari, as they can use the app, but the Kickstarter page does offer a “Little Pari” that’s sort of like a Flat Stanley. Parents can take pictures with the miniature Little Pari on trips to show where it’s traveling.
Lots of gadgets have tried to make it easier for parents to let their kids know they’re thinking about them from afar. Most of these toys have a built-in display to host video calls. Parihug is different in that its creators specifically left the screen out because they thought it took away from the user experience.
At least if your kid doesn’t dig the hug feature, they still get a cute stuffed animal that’s fine enough on its own. Parihug starts at $75 with the goal of shipping in December.