- Title: JAPAN: Virtual hugs and energy beams at technology exhibition
- Date: 24th June 2011
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 37-YEAR-OLD GRAPHIC DESIGNER TORU HAYAI SAYING: "I've always dreamed about firing energy blasts. I just realized my dream."
- Embargoed: 9th July 2011 13:00
- Location: Japan, Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA8JTE65XUTQRNMRFU7Q7089LPN
- Story Text: Imaginations are running wild at the Virtual Reality Expo in Tokyo this week, with visitors hugging themselves and releasing energy beams from their hands.
At one of the booths visitors were trying out a vest that simulates the same hug that you give a mannequin standing in front of you to literally allow you to hug yourself.
"It is totally relaxing," said visitor Chiharu Asano who gave the vest a try.
The six air-pumped muscles on the 200,000 yen (2,500 US dollars) vest expand with the injection of air to reproduce the same sensation as a person's arm around you would.
"Nobody can really hug themselves in the real world, so I was curious about what they would feel if they could and that curiosity drove me to invent this vest," said 23-year-old, award winning developer Nobuhiro Takashi.
Takashi's team from University of Electro-communications won the grand prix in last year's International Collegiate Virtual Reality Contest held in Tokyo.
"It feels as if I am hugging a hot girl friend." said 22-year-old Tomoki Okawara science student at Tsukuba University after a tight hug with the headless mannequin.
In another booth at the exhibition, fans of the Japanese anime Dragon Ball were offered the chance to produce a beam of energy from their hands, know in popular Japanese culture as a ""Kamehame Ha" (pronounce: Kah-me-ha-me-ha).
Motion sensors able to detect a person's hand movements notice when the visitors make the right move to "charge" the energy beam. Pushing the hands away releases the beam of light in the augmented reality display.
"I've always dreamed about firing energy blasts. I just realized my dream," Toru Hayai, 37, and an avid "Dragon Ball" fan.
More than 450 other exhibitors took part the 3-day advanced 3D and motion sensing technologies fair.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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