Sometimes a reassuring squeeze of the hand can be the best feeling in the world, and with Frebble your loved ones can feel that tactile support, no matter where in the world you all are.
For a granddaughter calling grandma with special news, for a husband far away from a wife, for distant grown daughters who crave the comfort of their mother’s touch, for a best friend who wants to let her friend know it will all be ok, Frebble connects – as simply, subtly and as powerfully as though the person was right there with you.
While there are many ways to see and hear your loved ones through the power of the internet, the tactile element has been missing – until now. With Frebble, you can cut through the distance and share that smallest gesture – the squeeze of the hand – that means so much.
How Frebble Works
Connect to your loved ones through the squeeze of a hand, no matter where they
are in the world. When you hold a Frebble device in your hand and squeeze it,
your loved one will feel your reassuring touch in real time through their
Frebble – no matter where you are talking to them from. Frebble is designed to
fit perfectly in your hand and simulate the touch of holding and squeezing
another person’s hand, and having that feeling reciprocated.
When you squeeze your Frebble, the corresponding Frebble in your loved one’s hand will gently apply pressure to the back of their hand, simulating what they would feel if you were holding hands right next to each other. When combined with a video chat service such as Skype or Google Hangouts, the experience is truly amazing. The miles fall away and for times when words are not enough, Frebble says it all.
live in a hyper-connected world, and yet sometimes a simple reassuring squeeze
of the hand – that shorthand of love and support – is what’s needed most. Frebble makes that possible wherever you and
your loved ones may be.
When Frebble is used at
the same time as video-chatting, the experience is exponentially
improved. You can now see and hear
and feel the touch of those you care most about no matter where they
are. Frebble users will be able to see which friends are online through the
to fit perfectly in your hand, Frebble provides the tactile sense of holding
hands. When one user squeezes the device, the Frebble device on the other end
applies pressure to the other user’s hand, simulating the feel of a gentle hold
of the hand. Frebble is recharged through a micro-USB cable and currently works
with Google Chrome version 24 or higher or Firefox version 16 and higher. Android and iOS apps for smartphones and tablets will also be available by the time it is delivered to Kickstarter supporters.
It features 2 pressure
sensors at the front to register squeezing, 2 vibration motors on the side to
enhance the haptic experience, 1 squeeze bar integrated in hand enclosure to
replicate holding hands, a multicolor LED to indicate connection and
communication status, Bluetooth Low Energy (4.0) communication and a
rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery.
Frebble will be molded out of impact-resistant plastic with rubberized padded areas for added gripability. It is about 5 inches long and the battery will last for 4 hours of use (much longer on standby), and will be recharged with a micro-USB cable.
Frederic Petrignani - Co-founder, CEO
Passionate entrepreneur, obsessed with extending the human sense
of touch across space and time.
Johny Gorissen - Software Engineer
Expert in various programming languages. Helps building the
social touch application and platform.
Roel van Deventer - Hardware Development
Born and raised in the Netherlands. Expert in industrial design. Responsible for designing and sourcing the hardware components.
The idea behind Frebble has been around since 2003 when creator Frederic Petrignani was getting his MBA at the Rotterdam School of Management. A bar outing one night with fellow students,
many far from home, led to a discussion of how it would be great to be able to hug or hold hands with loved ones across the internet.
What could have been a throwaway
comment lit a spark for Frederic and his passion and commitment for finding a
solution to that problem began.
Ultimately he founded Holland Haptics in 2012 to design and develop 'tactile feedback' - or haptic - devices. (Haptic
is from the Greek word for touch.) After kicking around a few other ideas, Frederic and his team settled on the current design and began working to professionalize the early concept.
We already have functioning prototypes and have tested Frebbles with a number of users. Through this research we have found that children find it
really entertaining as a livelier added dimension to video calling.
The design is finalized, and components have already been selected. Kickstarter funding
will be used to pay for the manufacture of the first production run, from which
backers will receive their products.
We have a shortlist of initial manufacturers and expect to make
the selection soon. Our goal is to have the final CAD drawings ready by July 2014.
From that moment, it will be another 10 weeks or so for production of the
entire Kickstarter batch.
The team is so excited about Frebble that they've already begun planning improvements and additions for later generation products!
The Power of Touch
is a wealth of research showing that physical touch has a wide range of
physical and emotional benefits. When people are deprived of touch for long
periods of time, it can cause anxiety and depression.
Some of the benefits of
loneliness and creating a sense of connectedness.
tension and helping with relaxation.
to relieve pain or to alter the perception of pain.
to manage stress.
a sense of well-being.
is even more important for a child’s development. It is a critical component
for building healthy attachments to parents and other caregivers. Touch often
communicates more than words – such positive emotions as love, gratitude and
sympathy can all be communicated with touch, and children who learn to share
these emotions are more likely to be cooperative in their interactions with
All components in the Frebble have been chosen, and the selection of the manufacturing, assembly and handling supplier is nearly done. The delivery date estimate is based on the information the supplier of choice has provided us so far.
However with any big project such as Frebble, there are always challenges to be overcome. There are the known complexities of manufacturing and delivery, especially when done on separate continents, as well as unexpected events that may come up. In the case an issue does arise, we will do our utmost to minimize the impact on you, our backers, and we are committed to keeping you informed about our progress every step of the way in the months following the successful campaign.
You will be among the first in the world to 'hold hands' with a loved one at a distance, and we look forward to receiving your feedback on the experience!
We originally had a different name for the product but it ran into multiple issues. We brainstormed for new names and ran a survey with more than 100 shareholders. Frebble was the best option that could be turned into a verb. I joke that it is a combination between Frederic and Pebble, the Kickstarter poster child, but this is not the actual origin at all.
Frebble uses haptic technology, or ‘tactile feedback’ (haptic is from the Greek word for touch) to mimic the sensation of hand-holding through two remote devices. Once the Frebbles have connected to each other through the internet, when one user squeezes their device, the other user will feel the sensation of their hand being held.
Frebble is the brainchild of Frederic Petrignani who founded Holland Haptics, a Netherlands-based technology company in 2012. Frederic and his team collectively bring several decades of executive experience in finance, IT and business management to the company.
The initial seed for Frebble was planted in Frederic Petrignani’s mind when he was studying for his MBA at the Rotterdam School of Management. A night out at a bar with fellow students, many far from home, led to one of those “wouldn't it be great if...” discussions. In this case, it was “wouldn't it be awesome if there was a way to hug or hold hands across the internet.” What could have been a throwaway comment lit a spark for Frederic and his passion and commitment for finding a solution to that problem began. The paradox of today’s hyper-connected world is that somewhere along the way we neglected the most important human sensory connection – touch. The Frebble seeks to remedy that.
FREBBLE PHILANTHROPIST: Receive 10 Frebbles to give to a local school, hospital, care institution or research center where they can bring warmth and support to those separated from loved ones. Share the power of touch with those who need it most!
FREBBLE DEVELOPERS KIT: In addition to receiving 2 Frebbles, you will receive direct access to the Frebble team to integrate it's touch functionality into your own website, app or game. Color options: Kickstarter blue/green!
FREBBLE CHAMPION: You are Frebble's biggest fan, and as such will be treated to the royal experience. You will receive 2 custom made Frebbles in any color you wish, engraved with a name or message of your choice. Additionally, we will welcome you into our offices for a grand tour of YES!Delft where we are based as well as attend a dinner with the Holland Haptics Board of Directors to discuss future products, where haptic technology is headed, and hear about all the behind the scenes work going on to make Frebble a success.