Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japanese Introduce Humanoid Phone, New Set of Nightmares

Elfoid, the humanoid cell phone
Credit: Weird Asia News
Cellular phones have evolved in very odd ways. From the standard brick-sized “Zack Morris” phone of the early nineties to flip phones to phones capable of pinpointing your exact location on a satellite map, the next logical step can only be a phone shaped like a human that features absolutely no keyboard or dialpad…right?

As is customary, Japan has unveiled something very weird and mostly useless. Hiroshi Ishiguro and a group of Japanese researchers from Osaka University have developed a cell phone shaped like a human being. The primary function of the phone isn’t to be useful, but instead to give the user the impression that the user is talking to more than just a signal through a speaker but a real person. I can imagine the only people who would want to use this phone are the very lonely.

The phone, named “Elfoid,” is designed sans keyboard or dialpad, and contains nothing more than a speaker and an LED light on its chest. The light turns blue when the phone is in use and red when in standby mode. Thankfully, the phone doesn’t move, but if for some reason future versions get made, the researchers hope to instill the phone with an eerie form of artificial intelligence, such as motors and shape-memory components, with the ultimate goal being user emotion and movement transference from phone to phone.

Elfoid will not be able to slowly gain sentience and take over the world for the next five or so years, and researchers are promising even more features, such as an accelerometer, temperature sensors, and image and voice recognition functions. Whispering sweet nothings into your ear while you sleep is optional.


Source: Tom's Guide/Weird Asia News

VOCABULARY:
odd: strange
flip phone: a cell phone can be folded
customary: very common
unveiled: revealed
sans: lacking, without
instill: impress or mark or produce or try to produce a vivid impression of
eerie: suggestive of the supernatural; mysterious, scary, freaky
sentience: awareness
accelerometer: an instrument for measuring the acceleration or speed


QUESTIONS:
What other inventions do you think are useless?
What other inventions do you think are scary/freaky?
Do you think scientists can create Artificial Intelligence that is greater than our intelligence?


http://esldiscussions.com/r/robots.html
http://esldiscussions.com/c/cell_phones.html

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