Premise. Long distance relationships are tough. Whether friend, family member or significant other, it’s hard to connect with someone via phone or video chat when SO many opportunities for distraction abound. Hell, it’s hard to command someone’s attention when they are sitting two feet in front of you – and what happens out of view of the webcam, stays out of view of the webcam.
Product. While video chat has vastly propelled the relevancy of long-distance relationships, Frebble now complements the experience of simultaneous seeing and hearing with feeling. Frebble is a handheld device that works in pairs and uses tactile feedback to mimic the sensation of hand-holding through the internet. Once the Frebbles are connected to each other, one user can squeeze the device and the other will feel the sensation of his hand being held. Frebble is compatible with Skype, Facetime as well as the Frebble app.
Pitch. The incredibly adorable campaign video explains the human need for touch and how much more it can mean to us than just words alone. CEO and founder Frederic Petrignani explains that today we have technology to talk to and see each other in real time and at a distance, but there exists no way to hold hands with someone at a distance in real time, and that was the problem he wanted to tackle. Campaign funds will be used in the initial production of Frebble which will be subsequently distributed all over the world as early as October 2014.
Perks. For $89, early birds can back Frebble and receive two Frebbles (one for you and one for your loved one) in a choice of green or blue. Additional reward tiers include Frebble Philanthropist, Frebble Developers and the most pricey reward level: Frebble Champion. One Frebble Champion will receive two custom Frebbles in any color, engraved with a name or message, an invitation to Yes!Delft offices in Holland, and a dinner with the board of directors for a pledge of $10,000 or more.
Potential. Frebble is an interesting and unique concept that has potential at least as a novelty gift among those who find themselves with loved ones afar. A similar concept, Taion Heart, was revealed years ago by Japanese company, DoCoMo however the concept was not brought to production. While endearing and adorable, users may find it easier to video chat “hands free” even at the cost of a virtual touch.