Japan is one of my favourite countries, any place in this world where you can buy used underwear in a vending machine intrigues me in a weird way. Whilst the Japanese are usually busy creating robots that are technical marvels. One scientist has taken some time of to make Human Uber a reality.
Japanese researcher Jun Rekimoto has developed a special screen that can be strapped to a person’s face and allow them to live on your behalf. This will be useful for those times you are double booked and you can get someone to go through your day for you.
“To do this, a surrogate user wears a mask-shaped display that shows a remote user’s live face, and a voice channel transmits a remote user’s voice,” a page describing the tool, known as ChameleonMask, reads. “A surrogate user mimics a remote user by following the remote user’s directions.
Such telepresence systems have been developed before. But before they used to be mounted on robots which the person using the robot could make it walk around the office or conference . In contrast, the ChameleonMask appears to create a more human experience as the screen is carried by a human who will dress up like you do. The experience is much better than those robots, its creator claims.
“It also eliminates many difficulties of teleoperated robots wandering in the environment,” the page describing the innovation claims. Experiments have shown that people are able to think of the surrogate as the real person, it also claims.
We see this invention working in Japan where they already have hotels where you only see robots for the whole of your stay. Even though in the west we seem to be glued to our phones, I don’t think we are ready for ‘Human Uber’ yet.