Pet a Chicken Across the Internet! But Wait, There’s More!

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You can now pet a chicken across the Internet! Yes, that’s right – sit in your apartment in New York City, and experience the rural life by petting a chicken in Iowa. Oliver and Lisa Douglas ain’t got nothing on you! (Quick, how many of you got that reference without the aid of Google?)

Researchers at the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore have developed an automatic response system which works across networks, with both participants able to feel and..uh..be felt… across networks such as the Internet. The haptic (relating to or based on the sense of touch) system may seem whimsical in the context of being able to massage a chicken remotely, but the potential for the technology is mind-boggling.

The project has been nearly two years in the making. Explained professor Adrian David Cheok, the leader of the team, “This is the first human-poultry interaction system ever developed. We understand the perceived eccentricity of developing a system for humans to interact with poultry remotely, but this work has a much wider significance.”

Including yes, human-to-human interactions. In fact the team is already looking into developing human haptic suits, which would be capable of imparting feelings of being hugged, although they acknowledge that to really get the full-on hug experience, both parties would also need to cuddle up to a pillow or doll embedded with sensors.

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Snide comments about a new venture for Sex.com aside, the ability to physically interact, at least on a networked basis, with loved ones who may be far far away should not be undervalued. I’m sure that we can all think of someone who has a loved one far away who would jump at the chance for a network hug to tide them over until their loved one is safely back by their side.

For now, however, we will have to make do with massaging chickens, a short video of which you can see here.

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2 thoughts on “Pet a Chicken Across the Internet! But Wait, There’s More!

  1. In case you haven’t heard, E A passed away last week at the age of 99.

    [Aunty’s note: “E A” is Eddie Albert, co-star of “Green Acres”. May he rest in peace.]

  2. Re: Pet a Chicken Across the Internet! But Wait, There’s More!

    Oliver and Lisa Douglas: Green Acres! Right? I hate to admit it but that came to me from memory, not Google.

    I think the real question is, “Why did the chicken cross the internet?”.

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