Humanoid mobile phone

Japanische Wissenschaftler haben ein Handy in Menschenform entwickelt, dessen Oberfläche sich wie Haut anfühlt. Soll die Beziehung zu der- oder demjenigen vertiefen, mit dem man grade telefoniert…

Robotics researchers from Osaka University have teamed up with NTT Docomo and Qualcomm to develop a handheld humanoid phone that brings a new dimension to mobile communications. A prototype of the device — called „Elfoid P1“ — was unveiled at a presentation in Tokyo on March 3. Japanese researchers said Thursday they have developed a human-shaped mobile phone with a skin-like outer layer that enables users to feel closer to those on the other end.

The Elfoid phone is a miniature version of the Telenoid R1 robot developed last year by a research team led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. The current prototype measures 20 centimeters (8 in) long, is covered in a soft fleshy urethane skin, and has the same genderless and ageless appearance as the Telenoid. The control buttons are embedded in the chest, which glows green when the Elfoid is in use.

Equipped with a camera and motion-capture system, 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.

“The mobile phone may feel like the person you are talking to,” the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) said in a press release, describing the gadget as a “revolutionary telecom medium”.

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