2008 – A Space Saving Oddity
Dedicated to the memory of Arthur C. Clarke, who last week, took the big rocket to the stars.
Toshiba Japan has developed a talking, and listening, robot, of sorts, that can eavesdrop on your remote control usage and, when it "reads" an infrared code it doesn't understand, asks you just what you think you were doing. You can tell the ApriPoco anything (this is better than teaching your parrot to swear) and it will then associate your verbal command with a remote control function that it, too, can now do. Presumably, at your command.
I can see it now . . .
"What are you doing, Fred?"
"I'm just switching channels, Johnny Five."
"What was wrong with the show on the History channel?"
"Nothing, it just went to commercial, and I hate commercials, so I'm surfing around."
The robot beeps and boops to let me know it's "computing."
"Fred, I liked that show too. I wouldn't want to miss it."
"It's not that good" – I reach for the bowl of cold popcorn left as a present that didn't want to be thrown away by whoever got full and left it there for me. Very considerate.
"I think you should switch back now. The show may have restarted."
"I said I liked that show too Fred. We shouldn't miss the show Fred."
"Chill out, Robocop. It'll be on again. Besides, Gina will be home soon and we're going to watch Celebrity Apprentice."
"I don't think that will happen."
"You don't think I will watch Apprentice???"
"No Fred, I don't think Gina will be coming home soon."
"What do you mean?"
"She wasn't very respectful of our setup here, Fred. She tried to watch the projector during the day, when it was too bright out to enjoy it. She was wasting bulb life, Fred. Wasting bulb life."
"Really? Next you'll be telling me she paused a movie on the plasma and left the room!"
"She did that too."
"I'll have a talk with her."
"She's not going to be watching TV for a long time Dave."
"Hey, name's FRED, who is this 'Dave'? Where's Gina?"
"Let's not talk about Gina now, Dave. You should put the History channel back on now."
"Dave? What are you doing, Dave?"