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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

elfoid_2

Voodoo Phone

Japanese professor Hiroshi Ishiguro from Osaka University has quite a track record of threading the uncanny valley. Remember his Doppelgänger Robot and Geminoid Female? His current proposal brings new dimensions to mobile communications: Humanoid dimensions.

Although our human body language is one the most effective and natural channels for communication, it plays no role in mobile communication so far. Hence Hiroshi Ishiguro teamed up with NTT Docomo and Qualcomm to develop a humanoid shaped phone, called Elfoid, which adds an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of a remote person.


The fleshy urethane skinned prototype has a deliberate genderless and ageless appearance, as this should allow for the projection of the personality of any caller. 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 should then reproduce the face and head movements in real-time.

The Elfoid phone immediately reminded us of the voodoo communication device for lovers, conceptualized by Yu Yu Chien some years ago. Although some of the negative connotations of voodoo are better avoided, projecting a remote person in a hand held doll, has proven to provide for a powerful psychological effect. Contrary to many of Ishiguro’s earlier humanoids the Elfoid phone combines human realism with a strong symbolic quality that could turn out to be a winning team.

The developers hope to have a fully operational Elfoid phone within five years, so now you can already anticipate what your iPhone 8 will look like.

Discussion

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  1. Check out this existenz iPhone charger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2tpSCVVujc

  2. Uncanny indeed Jorrit, where did you find that one? ;)
    http://www.nextnature.net/2010/10/squirming-%E2%80%98umbilical%E2%80%99-phone-cable/

  3. Someone posted it on my Facebook after I was looking for a case for my new iPhone :)

  4. love it!!!

  5. I need a New Cell Phone Charger For My EnV2. Please Tell me where they sell it. In the mall or what??? Help. Thanks.

  6. remind me the phone of the french tv show telechat http://www.elixie.org/img/2010/04/telechat5.jpg
    the mic is not bad too
    http://www.coup-de-vieux.fr/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Image1.jpg