Fin­gers to stick out of your Mo­Bile phone

The Sunday Guardian - - The Week -

PARIS: A French re­searcher has in­vented a ro­bot fin­ger that at­taches to your mo­bile phone. It can wrig­gle across your desk. It can stroke your hand.

“My PhD sub­ject is around touch in com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” ex­plains Marc Teyssier, a re­searcher at Tele­com Paris­tech en­gi­neer­ing school. “When we talk with peo­ple in real life we touch each other to com­mu­ni­cate emo­tions, for ex­am­ple a stroke on the arm, or stuff like that. But for mo­bile de­vices and in­ter­ac­tion in gen­eral in com­put­ers, we don’t use touch at all. So my start­ing point was: how can we bring touch in hu­man­com­puter in­ter­faces?” He de­signed, built and patented the Mo­biLimb ro­botic fin­ger, which plugs into a mo­bile phone and looks very much like a real fin­ger. It can drag the phone across the ta­ble. Your friends can ac­ti­vate it and op­er­ate it re­motely, to give you a com­fort­ing pat on the wrist when they talk to you. But when peo­ple saw it, every­one had the same re­ac­tion. The creepy phone fin­ger tells us some­thing about who we are, and what we ex­pect from a world where your phone lis­tens and re­sponds to your com­mands like a per­son, but still doesn’t have a mov­ing body, Teyssier said. For now, the ro­bot fin­ger is both too hu­man, and not quite hu­man enough. “Tech­nol­ogy looks like hu­man, but its not ex­actly hu­man, so our brain—we don’t know how to re­act.”

Ro­bot fin­ger

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