Haptic interface: vibrobod

Neat stuff here, the Vibrobod (.pdf) is a pretty darn device (developed by Kelly Dobson, Danah Doyd, Wendy Ju, Judith Donath andHiroshi Ishi):

VibroBod allows two users to communicate feeling; hand gestures and vocalizations made by one user convey emotional content to the other user. VibroBods rest on the laps of individuals having personal conversations via phone, chat or instant messaging, to amplify moods or tones that may otherwise be lost. The design intent was to facilitate awareness, empathy, and emotional influence across mediated channels. (...) In informal critiques with fifteen students and faculty, we found that the VibroBod indeed provoked strong reactions. At first, people were hesitant to place their fingers in the holes and were alarmed by the vibrations. As users learned how their actions were affecting the VibroBods’ behavior, they became very involved and attentive in experiential discovery and in trying to evoke particular vibration patterns that seemed like accurate representations of how they were feeling.

Why do I blog this This device reminds me the gum-like interface of eXistenZ's pod, which I like.