08/10/2012 15:13 BST | Updated 08/10/2012 15:31 BST

Like-A-Hug: Facebook 'Likes' Turn Into Hugs With Inflatable Social Media Gilet (PICTURES)

The market for useless tat just got a little bigger.

Facebook may have whipped us all into approval-seeking co-dependents, but now you can literally feel the love by donning this gilet that inflates to give you a hug.

Yes, if 17 people “like” what you’ve had for dinner, that’s 17 hugs especially for you.

facebook hug

When a 'like' is received via a mobile phone, the jacket inflates

This remarkably useless invention allows users of the social media site to “feel the warmth, encouragement, support, or love that we feel when we receive hugs,” the inventors claim.

Melissa Kit Chow, who collaborated with colleagues Andy Payne and Phil Seaton at MIT's (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab, explains: "The project was done as an exercise and exploration in shape display.

"We came up with the concept over a casual conversation about long-distance relationships and the limitations of video chat interfaces like Skype.

facebook hug

All warm and fuzzy inside: But would this melt your cold, cold heart?

"The concept of telepresence arose, and we toyed with the idea of receiving hugs via wireless technology. The result was Like-A-Hug.

"Connecting it to Facebook conceptually was simply a way to explore how social media might push past the traditional graphic user interface (GUI)."

facebook hug

Hold me close: For you? Or is it a fashion faux pas too far?