Berserk about Bluetooth

Sep 18, 2005 - 07:50 PM
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Bluetooth Cellular Squirrel
Posted by: blueserker on Jul 15, 2005 - 08:50 AM
Cool Products
Another Bluetooth enabled idea coming out of the MIT Media Lab is the Cellular Squirrel that acts as a sort of conversational robotic secretary. The Cellular Squirrel will engage the caller in a discussion first to ascertain the urgency of the call and then compare it to the words being used in whatever face to face conversations or discussions you are currently engaged in (ie a meeting, interview,etc). The caller's phone number is taken into account (whether it is family, work, or another category in your contact list) as is the tone of the caller's voice. The squirrel then will notify you through non-verbal communications (gaze, posture, small gestures) to indicate there is a call and the urgency or importance of the call based on the information it has gathered. The goal is to keep the phone from interrupting at inappropriate moments during the day. The call can be answered through the squirrel, which has a speakerphone set up in it. If you, the user, do not react the squirrel will go back to sleep.

Not only does the squirrel use animatronics and other technologies, but is also uses a Bluetooth Class 1 dongle to make connections to a pc and to the mobile phone. I guess it is better than that horrible ringing, but I can still imagine that a suddenly shaking stuffed animal, aside from conjuring up images of a stuffed animal exorcist, would be a distraction to everyone involved in a conversation, meeting, or interview. The conclusion here, though, is that it is still infinitely cooler than Furby.

Videos of the Squirrel, Bunny, and Parrot [I couldn't get the squirrel videos to work, but the Bunny video Sequence [MOV, 14905kb, 52.28 secs] works great and shows the bunny go from sleeping state to awake and to sleep again when the user doesn't interact with it]

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