Elfoid Smartphone Looks & Acts (Kinda) Human-Like
The Elfoid P1 cell phone should be available in five years.
CREDIT: Pink Tentacle
In an attempt to make long-distance communication more personal, Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) has developed the Elfoid P1, a cell phone shaped like a mini-humanoid.
While the idea of putting this thing anywhere near your head conjures images of a Stephen King novel, it's inventors hope Elfoid can provide greater feeling of human contact when it came to phone calls. The phone will eventually convey the speaker's emotional state, with the "soft fleshy skin" replicating human contact.
"The Elfoid phone will be able to watch the user's face and transmit motion data to another Elfoid phone, which can then reproduce the face and head movements in real-time," according to a report by Pink Tentacle.
The Elfoid's body, which is eight inches (20 centimeters) long and resembles that of a ghost, is covered in a layer of urethane skin. The controls for the phone are hidden in the creature's chest, and glow green when in use. In addition, it has a camera and motion-capture system to record your expressions and voice.
The phone is a miniature version of the Telenoid R1 robot a child-size telepresence robot, that CNET has deemed 'nightmare baby' developed last year by a research team led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro.
The current prototype is unable to move, but eventually will be able to do so through tiny motors and parts made from shape-memory alloys, which will enable the Elfoid to move its eyes, mouth, neck and arms.
The Elfoid was presented in Tokyo yesterday (March 3), and for those who don't mind its dead-eye stare, a commercial version should be available in five years, according to developers.
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