Creepy Cell Phone Homunculus Mimics Human Facial Expressions

No. No no no no no no no. no.

Yes, that is a sentence that I just wrote.

This little homunculus, known as Elfoid, is actually a cellphone, and was based on a larger robot created by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. A larger version, Telenoid, was designed to recreate the physical presence of a remote user in teleconferencing situations, making Elfoid the mobile version of the technology.

The idea is that the relatively featureless (and limbless, and hairless, and ear-less, and /shudder) look of Elfoid will capture the facial expression of who you’re talking to with a camera and cause your handheld to mimic them.

Says Ishiguro:

If you hold it, it will be a part of your body.

Well, I guess it’s true that since getting a smart phone I’ve come to regard it with a certain amount of affection.  It allows me to communicate in a variety of ways, I read books on it, I play games on it, I accept raid invitations with it, I browse r/F7U12 while on the bus… the question is, do I want to empathize with it as I would a conscious entity…

No. No no no no no no no. No.

This thing is somewhere between this:

And this:

When asked how he responds to comments that his Telenoid appears creepy, Ishiguro simply shrugged his shoulders and said that “it is not creepy.”


(via The Hairpin.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.