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Facebook Poking Machine Turns Online Social Gesture into Physical Reality

Facebook poking is pretty childish and annoying, unless it’s from a pretty lady friend and then obviously it means you’re “in”.  But who’d actually have the gall to approach a pal in real life and physically poke them – in whatever manner the term might be interpreted?

A duo of designers from the Netherlands named Jasper van Loenen and Bartholomäus Traubeck, have addressed this question by creating a gadget called the Poking Machine. The Poking Machine is a little neon box containing a miniscule servo, battery, and bluetooth module which straps to the arm and connects to any Android-based smartphone with the Facebook app. If the wearer is poked on Facebook, be it via PC or mobile, the box receives a signal from the Android notification and will protrude a small plastic “finger”, giving the wearer a tiny real-life poke!

The Poking Machine looks pretty legit and a lot of time and effort has been put into its creation, including precision laser cutting of the casing itself, housing complex components inside and student Van Loenen, speaking of the social experiment, says: “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”

We don’t see this becoming a big seller on the consumer market any time soon, but it’d keep us amused for five minutes!

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