Emota’s teddy bears can send hugs over the internet

Paul To felt like a guilty son a few years ago. His father got sick, and so did his grandmother. But he was far away and couldn’t offer support.

So the former venture program manager for Nortel thought about the problem and eventually founded Emota, a startup that allows people to offer loved ones emotional support from long distance. Emota has created sensors full of “ambient intelligence.” They can sense when someone is near. To embeded these modules in teddy bears. So when a person hugs a bear, its impact can be felt far away.

The teddy bear transmits a signal over the internet to another teddy bear, which lights up. So when you hug a bear, your loved one knows it. They can hug back and the response goes back over the internet. It’s a simple idea, but it can pack an emotional punch,” To told GamesBeat.

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