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Connection Stories

The Hug Project: An embrace for those who need it most

May 20, 2021

As the world begins to re-unite, see how Cox is helping connect those who remain isolated.


For many of us, vaccines being readily available means a return to connection. To loved ones. To hugs. But there are those for whom the vaccine is too great a risk. Immunocompromised individuals will remain isolated, unable to take a vaccine. And with the COVID virus still highly transmissible, kept physically apart from loved ones and the support they need to continue.


That’s why Cox stepped in to help. Partnering with technology innovator, CuteCircuit, Cox manufactured “HugShirts” programmed to emulate a HUG. Haptic sensors in the shirt connect two people. Isolated individuals will be able to feel the touch of a husband or a grandchild just as if they are there with them. Shirts were designed after analyzing dozens of hugs – and mapping hand positions with sensors and haptic actuators designed to give and receive the sensation of touch. Each hug is unique, giving individuals the support, they need to continue, while keeping them safe.


The Hug Project follows three families with immune compromised members – unable to be together in-person, sharing hugs via innovative technology and connecting in a whole new way.


Gary, facing a terminal cancer diagnosis that left him with a weakened immune system. Staying safe means, he can’t even hug his own daughter. 


Stacey, diagnosed with a rare condition that left him in isolation from his favorite niece, Eliana for over a year.


Tom, diagnosed with ALS in 2017 and left immobilized, longing to connect meaningfully with his nephew Drew in the time he has left.


Three families. Three stories of enduring love and support that won’t be social distanced. And the power of technology to connect us in new and meaningful ways. See their moving stories on YouTube.


The Hug Project is part of an ongoing initiative Cox calls The Connections Project, directed at providing human connection where it’s needed most.



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