The Facebook poke is one of those features I have always found pointless, the idea of virtually poking friends in the arm to get their attention. But now, thanks to inventors Jasper van Loenen and Bartholomäus Traubeck there is now a poking machine, that turns virtual Facebook pokes into physical pain! (I say pain, more like annoying jab in the arm.)
The Poking Machine is a wearable device that pokes you physically whenever you are poked on Facebook, no matter where you are. The machine is housed in a laser-cut box you can wear on your arm, it also connects to an Android phone with Bluetooth, letting it keep track of incoming pokes.
What was the motivation behind Loenen and Traubeck’s invention? They say:
Online social networks are platforms for communication, enabling us to connect anywhere we go. However, they still lack the mediation of physical communication. Facebook tries to improve this by enabling its users to ‘poke’ each other, which basically only sends another written message to the person you poke, without conveying the original intent of the poking gesture. The Poking machine converts the message into an actual physical poke, extending the reach of this haptic gesture indefinitely. This way users can connect not only virtually but also physically.
As far as we know there are no plans to put this machine into production so we can buy it, but maybe this idea could catch on. If like me, you would like to see how the poking machine is made, check out the video below: