Here we have a device to battle loneliness in some and instill terror in others. It can’t cuddle back, but.. it forms to you? I can’t tell.
I love IRC (where I stumbled upon the link) and the things my people bring to the table. This is old news on Botjunkie, but it’s still terrifying. I can’t decide if this is pure genius at work, or what. It seems some lonely designers are getting closer and closer to Chobits, which frightens and intrigues me. I would be afraid to have the Funktionide (the gently convulsing robot in the video) near my home, as it would get lonely and search for me, and then I would run from room to room and it would just keep following me, until I threw it into a tar pit or incinerator. My curiosity gets the better of me though, and I want to see one up close. Just… not take it home.
Designer Stefan Ulrich says this about the “pillow.”
Based on an intensive two month research (in cooperation with FESTO and EMPA) concerning electroactive polymers / artificial muscles my thesis reflects upon how new technologies will change future products, and the way we interact with them.
The “Funktionide” is an autarkic amorph object whose intention is to provide the user with a atmosphere of presence thus counteracting the feeling of loneliness.
(Is it really a pillow? It’s more like a pulsating blob of foam and mechanics. If you hump it, does it hump back? Oh the inappropriate possibilities one could think up with this thing.)