I don’t think I’ve ever come across a piece of technology so amusing as this. While it looks like a robot, it is actually little more than a bizarre hybrid of a webcam and a radio-controlled car. Think of it as “video conferencing extreme.” No longer do you have to sit in front of your computer in order to confer with your boss who’s out on a call; your boss can now come walking right up to your desk, courtesy of this man-sized contraption that comes with an LCD screen where the boss’s face resides and a speaker just below his mouth. Naturally there is a camera and mic, so that he can see and hear you, too. And, of course, the device can rove about the office on wheels. So much for “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”
The product is called the Giraffe, and if that’s not hilarious enough, it’s made by a company called HeadThere. But for me, the real amusement is in imagining myself sneaking up behind it and toppling it over face-first while it’s trunding along, then watching the real boss storming into the office later demanding that the culpit owns up. Better yet, throwing a bag over its head and watching it walk into the walls. Oh, what fun the workplace of the future may be!
I’d love to see what a pet dog would make of this metallic monster advancing on it with Master’s face and voice. Or how about the reaction of a young child to a virtual Daddy? Oh, it’s true; I’m a wicked, wicked man.