Can’t be bothered to show anyone what you’re thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer — a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom.
Building on a long line of slightly wacky and not-very-practical inventions for which Japan is famous, Hirotaka Osawa has unveiled the “AgencyGlass”.
“I wanted to build a system that is capable of carrying out social behaviours for humans,” he told AFP.
Just as robots can reduce the need for physical labour, the AgencyGlass — which looks like two small TV screens set in spectacle frames — aims to cut down its user’s emotional demands by carrying out their eye movements for them.
The two organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, which are connected to motion sensors and an external camera, show a pair of eyeballs that can appear to be making eye contact while the wearer is looking somewhere else entirely.
The wearer has to choose their emotion in advance — if they want to appear “attentive”, for example, they must switch it to this mode before putting the glasses on.
Osawa, of the prestigious Tsukuba University, said possible applications include for flight attendants dealing with irritating passengers, or teachers who want to project an image of kindness towards shy students.
“As the service sector grows and becomes more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important that we behave by showing understanding to others,” he said. “That requires us to behave differently from our true feelings.”
Such “emotional labour” has caused some people to become deeply conflicted and develop emotional illnesses, Osawa said, adding that his technology could eventually help them.
The glasses weigh around 100 grams (3.5 onces) with the battery lasting roughly an hour, Osawa said, adding that the prototype cost just over 30,000 yen ($290) to make. They are currently not in production.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Saturday Night Live mocks Trump as an unpopular dork at high school after disastrous NATO Summit
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Saturday ridiculed President Donald Trump after he was laughed at by world leaders during a NATO Summit in London.
The skit featured Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emanuel Macron as the cool kids at the NATO cafeteria, while U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempts to join their cliche.
Trump asked to sit at their table, but they suggested he sit with Latvia.
They said the seat was for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was then invited to join the cool kids table.
The skit included Johnson taping an "impeach me" sign to Trump's back.
Watch a band in cow costumes sing about Devin Nunes at White House impeachment protest
Protesters clad in full-body furry costumes sang about Rep. Devin Nunes during a Saturday protest at the White House.
The protesters were dressed as cattle after the Fresno Republican sued a fake cow Twitter, @DevinCow.
The protesters changed the lyrics to the hit 1958 Chuck Berry song "Johnny B. Goode" to "Devin Nunes."
Video of the protested was posted to Twitter by Democratic strategist Parkhomenko, who was targeted by Nunes in one of his lawsuits.
The lyrics to the 1958 Champs song "Tequila" were changed to "subpoenas."
Shocking photos document the devastating flooding pummeling San Francisco
San Francisco was battered by a heavy winter storm on Saturday that caused localized flooding throughout the city.
"A low pressure system off the Northern California coast Saturday hurled bans of strong downpours into the Bay Area, triggering a flood warning for San Francisco," KPIX-TV reported.
"San Francisco Muni officials tweeted that train service between West Portal to Embarcadero Station had been shut down due to flooding. Several streets were flooded in San Francisco’s western neighborhood including knee-high water at 15th Ave and Wawona," the station noted.