Oooh lordy, this Elfoid cellphone prototype is just horrifying, like some sort of David-Lynch-filming-Dan-Simmons prop to represent the religious fetishes of the Uncanny Valley… [image originally by Ars Electronica; ganked from linked Pink Tentacle post]
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.
Like the full-sized Telenoid robot, the Elfoid handset is designed to add an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of a remote user.
That’s it; from now on, I don’t do phonecalls. Email only.