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Now, you can hug a distant lover!

Long-distance lovers pining for an embrace can now resort to wearing a hug shirt that has an ability to transmit physical affection.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2006 15:48 IST

Long-distance lovers pining for an embrace can now resort to wearing a hug shirt that transmits physical affection.

Its manufacturers claim it is as easy as sending a text message and far more likely to solve a simmering row.

If two people are wearing the shirts, one can "hug" the other by wrapping their arms around their own body.

As lover number one squeezes tight, the shirt measures pressure, heartbeat and temperature, before using mobile Bluetooth technology to send the data to a second shirt.

Lover number two then feels their shirt heating, tingling and vibrating wherever their partner's hands were placed.

The only catch for couples facing a Christmas apart is that it won't be available until next year and costs about the same as an iPod.

On the up-side, it will still be cheaper than a designer shirt, according to Ryan Genz, chief executive of the manufacturer, CuteCircuit.

"This is a new kind of telecommunication. It adds diversity to how to talk to people and it is a world first in terms of sending touch over distance," he was quoted by the telegraph, as saying.

"It will cost more than a normal shirt but less than a Prada shirt. You can pay £800 for a designer shirt but think that is kind of silly," he added.

It is one of the first examples of how interactive fabrics – or Haptic technology – could appear on the high street. So-called intelligent fabric is already used in sportswear and produced by several British firms, with ski-jackets incorporating iPod and mobile phone controls, and sportsbras recording the wearer's heartbeat and sending the data to a wrist device.

First Published: Dec 12, 2006 15:48 IST