By Ali Najm, Christos Hadjipanayi, Despina Michael-Grigoriou, Domna Banakou, Francis McGlone, Merle Fairhurst

The “Virtual Touch Toolkit” is a central component of a newly developed smartphone application, currently operating on the Android operating system. The aim of the toolkit is to promote self-discovery by focusing on social, affective touch. The necessity of acknowledging the undervalued properties of affective touch in this day and age is more important than ever as the global pandemic of COVID-19 is provoking societal changes that are predicted to be detrimental to our mutual need for affective touch. The “Virtual Touch Toolkit” also aspires to function as a research tool on human behavior. The toolkit comprises multiple features and sets of exercises, which are designed to stimulate the user’s reward system while offering educational insights on affective touch.