Jul 3

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly


Matt Webb writes in email: "This is what's keeping me busy." And on the site, I find:

Availabot is a physical representation of presence in Instant Messenger applications. Availabot plugs into your computer by USB, stands to attention when your chat buddy comes online, and falls down when they go away. It’s a presence-aware, peripheral-vision USB toy… and because the puppets are made in small numbers on a rapid-prototyping machine, it can look just like you.
(The prototype shown in the video on the site looks like Matt Jones.)

Lots of news from the future in this tidbit: an idiosyncratic new way of infusing the physical world with computing; the maker impulse at work; early warning signs of the a future in custom manufacturing. This last tidbit is the most interesting to me, as I'm convinced that in the not-too distant future, low-cost fab machines will lead to market dynamics for "stuff" that resemble the market for digital media today.

At the first P2P conference in 2001, Marshall Burns and James Howison dubbed this movement "Napster fabbing." We're not at the point yet where everyone will have their own fab, but we are at the point where alpha geeks are noodling the possibilities of manufacturing and its intersection with the digital world. (In this connection, read this article on worldchanging, Making the Virtual Real, and then think about the recent acquisition of Sketchup by Google. No moss on those guys.)

Add in a bit of speech synthesis, and your availabot could speak to you in the voice of your choice.

tags:   | comments: 2   | Sphere It

Previous  |  Next

0 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments: 2

  web design uk [07.04.06 02:37 AM]

Thats really funny Lol!! I might get one

  Roo [07.05.06 07:08 AM]

[...] When I read about the Availabot recently, I was very impressed. It brings together not just ambient online status awareness, but also rapid-prototyping '3D printing' for a truly personal touch. Having a desktop avatar which not only represents a friend's online status but also looks like them is a great idea. [...]

Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.