frebble master

Amazing IoT #6: The Electronic Handshake

Ever wanted to hold someone’s hand through the computer screen? Well, turns out you can! Meet Frebble. It’s a hand-holding device that people can use to squeeze each other’s hands in a video chat. Frebble especially highlights its use as a tool for children to receive a reassuring handhold from parents or grandparents who are not at home.

The Frebble startup is the brainchild of co-founder Frederic Petrignani. The ergonomic design he and his Netherlands-based team produced looks nothing like a hand. The minimalist accessory looks more like a wingless penguin, in which the person holds the base of the neck and the head of the device arches over the hand.

Frebble devices light up to show that they are connected to the internet. To share a handhold, all a person has to do is squeeze the Frebble. This sends a message to the Frebble on the other end of the call to execute the handhold. Frebbles “hold” by having a lever of plastic press down gently on the top of the hand.

Petrignani explains that in video chat, the sense of sight and audio can already be shared in real-time, so why not sense of touch? If Frebble takes off, maybe real-time scent or hugging accessories will be their next step. Only time will tell the fate of Frebble. Until then, the startup will hold on to the task at hand.

Here’s Frederic Petrignani talking about Frebble: