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You Can Now Massage Your Back Or, Uh, Other Parts, Using Twitter Hashtags

The Internet Sensation Wand turns Twitter hashtags into a stimulating massage.

The Internet causes you enough stress. Here’s a way it can melt some away. Meet the Internet Sensations Wand, a vibrating massager (with a heaping of teledildonic possibilities on the side) that transforms Twitter hash tags into haptic feedback.

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The Internet Sensation Wand was created by Chinese designer Horatio Yuxin Han, who previously designed origami shoes for the developing world, in collaboration with MIT’s Robert Learsch and Brown University’s Ijeoma Azodo as part of the Rhode Island School of Design’s Body + Internet exhibition, which explores our ability as humans to express sentimentality through technology.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you had the Internet Sensation Wand during last week’s dress mania. By tuning the Internet Sensation Wand to #TheDress, it would generate a single pulse every time someone tweeted with that hashtag. That’s not a lot by itself, but during the peak of “I see White and Gold!” mania, #TheDress was generating enough pulses to jackhammer the knots out of even the most tightly wound back.

According to Han, the original idea was to translate hashtags into sound, not vibrations. “The first version was an Internet pulse listening station, where we translated hashtags into heartbeats and listened to it through a stethoscope,” Han says. “But we later evolved the concept from sound to haptic feedback, to better emphasize the physicality of the Internet.”

Like many of MIT’s more progressive projects, the point of the Internet Sensation Wand isn’t necessarily to posit an actual tech product, or even a solution to a real problem. Instead, it asks us to think more closely about how we think about our interactions with ephemeral digital phenomenon like hashtags. We might feel figuratively buffeted by them in our online lives, and now, thanks to the Internet Sensation Wand, they can literally bombard us as well.

More information on the Internet Sensations Wand can be found here.

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