This toaster doesn’t have an "on" button; instead it is activated pressure sensors that are triggered when the toaster is embraced. The point, says recent Royal College of Art graduate Ted Wiles, is that the act of hugging increases levels of Dopamine and Serotonin in the user’s brain and reduces heart rate, increasing feelings of comfort and happiness while they wait for their toast.
The Hugging Toast formed part of a series of electronic products designed by Wiles that required physical interaction from the user in order to work. The project was titled “Involuntary Pleasures” and explored how physical interactions create chemical changes in the user’s brain, which ultimately result in feelings of delight.
Other products in the series included an alarm clock that only turns off when the user “adopts the victory pose” and a telephone that asks for a smile before it will make or receive calls. The final product in the series is the Reflective Mirror, which distorts the users image and offers a moment of meditative contemplation on the subjective experience.