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Sweet, simple texting app lets you reach out and touch someone

Marco Triverio's Feel Me app is designed to bring the intimacy and directness of touch to text messaging.

The Feel Me app in action. Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

How many times have you given your significant other a little touch of some kind just to show you care? Maybe you slip your hand into a back pocket as you're walking down the street. Or perhaps you give your beloved's thigh a little squeeze under the table during a dinner out.

You probably couldn't count the number of times you've done this, right? This shows how important nonverbal connections are. It's one thing to say "I love you," it's another to take someone by the hand.

Marco Triverio, an interaction designer at IDEO, is trying to bring a version of this physical affection to text messaging.

Triverio's "Feel Me" app, which he developed as his final project at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, lets people reach out and "touch" each other through their smartphones in real time.

When you touch your phone's screen, a dot appears on the screen of the person you're communicating with. And when that person touches the dot, a reaction is triggered on both screens -- a visual cue, along with a sound or vibration -- letting you both know you're "touching" each other. You can touch with more than one finger too, and playfully move your fingers around together.

As a person in the embedded video says, the app could provide a sweet way to end a text exchange with someone you care about -- the SMS equivalent of a quick hug or handhold. Another talks of using it to briefly "be" with a family member who's ill. We can even imagine President Obama and his First Lady using it for a virtual fist bump.

The app is fully functional on iOS, Triverio says, but it hasn't been commercially released yet. If you like what you see in the embedded video, you can sign up to be notified when "Feel Me" becomes available.

(Via Creative Applications Network)