CNN and the Washington Post report on some cool new toys being displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I am not a gadget geek (I have trouble working the toaster) but these two items struck me as intriguing: Parrot AR.Drone, a remote-controlled helicopter the size of a pizza that can hover motionlessly, propelled by four rotors and an on-board computer. Users steer the Drones with iPhones, which act as remote controllers. A camera on the drone sends a live video feed to the iPhone, meaning that you see what the Drone sees. Then there's Samsung's LD2202 Multi-touch monitor, which allows users to write on the screen with their fingers. Cool, huh? (Or maybe I just like the pretty colors.)
There's also a handheld device that scans printed text, converts it to voice and reads it aloud; a 3D TV without the cumbersome 3D glasses; a laptop with a touch-sensitive screen that pops off to become its own tablet reader; a TV remote with TV screen on it; and a cell TV with hand gesture technology (which would go haywire in my household where large dogs meander back and forth in front of the screen).
Las Vegas was also host to the Adult Entertainment Expo this weekend, where the world's first sex robot was unveiled. (I thought they already made those in Japan.) From Huffington Post: A New Jersey company says it has developed "the world's first sex
robot," a life-size rubber doll that's designed to engage the owner
with conversation rather than lifelike movement. (A sex robot that just lies there, motionless?) The level of sophistication demonstrated was not beyond that of a
child's talking toy, but Roxxxy has a lot more brains than that –
there's a laptop connected to cables coming out of its back. It has
touch sensors at strategic locations and can sense when it's being
moved. But it can't move on its own, not even to turn its head or move
its lips. (So it's basically a blow-up doll that talks back.) The sound comes out of an internal loudspeaker... The phrases that were demonstrated were prerecorded, but the robot will
also be able to synthesize phrases out of prerecorded words and sounds. Owners will also be able to select different personalities for Roxxxy, from "Wild Wendy" to "Frigid Farrah." ... The suggested retail price is between $7,000 and $9,000.