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Japanese students invent ‘girlfriend coat’ that simulates the feeling of being hugged

Jordana Divon
Shine On
9 April 2013

Back in 2004, enterprising Japanese inventors rolled out the Boyfriend Pillow, a heft of cloth and stuffing shaped like an embracing arm that is supposed to mimic the feeling of being cuddled to sleep by a loving partner.

Lonely singles snapped up the $80 pillow and said things that made everyone really sad, like "It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me."

Fast forward nearly a decade, and the single men of Japan appear to have one-upped the single women in the textile lover department.

A group of Japanese students at the University of Tsukuba have designed the “girlfriend coat.” It's an item of outerwear with a special belt that creates the sensation the wearer is being “hugged from behind," reports the Daily Mail.

Also see: Women have happier love lives than men, but men 'happier in life' overall

But that’s not all. While the coat administers that warm hug, a set of headphones wired to the outfit coos phrases in a female voice, like “Sorry, I’m late.”

The coat has a name, too, one that even bests the Boyfriend Pillow in its ability to conjure up the deepest feelings of sympathy for the future generation.

It’s called the Riajyuu Coat. According to the Daily Mail, Riajyuu means “someone who is pleased with their life in reality, outside of the world of the Internet,” although any Japanese speakers out there: please feel free to pipe in with a better translation.

Also, this may be what Alanis meant to sing in “Ironic” instead of rain on your wedding day.

Also see: Unusual names top Nameberry's list of popular baby names for 2013...so far

The inventors released a video that demonstrated how their girlfriend-experience garment works. In the process, they each revealed their inspiration behind the invention.

“The concept of this device is everyone can get the feeling of having a girlfriend,” says co-inventor and hardware engineer Hikaru Sugira.

“If I have a girlfriend I think it is a good situation that she suddenly hugs me when I wait for her at the station,” adds developer Maito Omari.

Notable: each young man erupts into a fit of giggles when the female voice starts speaking in his ear. This could be because she sounds like one of the Chipettes. It could also be because they’re trolling us all and this is a gigantic Internet prank, particularly since they don’t plan to produce the coat for public consumption.

But considering some of the other inventions that have come out of this country of brilliant, creative and mad geniuses, there’s just as good a chance it’s the real deal.

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