You might think a computer is pretty useless without its keyboard and mouse. That is, unless you’ve met the Wizkid. What looks like a simple computer screen with a robotic neck is a much more complex, emotional creature. Wizkid’s screen moves around like a head, and reacts to things you say, expressing joy, boredom, surprise, and doubt by twisting its screen and neck around. It’s also trained to hone in on human faces and follow people’s movements, so it can interact with you like another person would. Heck, if you picked up a Wizkid and a HOAP-3 robot, you could have an instant virtual family.
Wizkid keeps track of people’s preferences, and if it knows you well enough, might even suggest what type of music you want to listen to. Or, you can just show it a CD and it will play it for you. It’s hard to beat Wizkid at a party, mixing and mingling with guests, and taking pictures all the while. All this interactive magic is cool and all, but I just wonder how long it would take my cats to tear this thing to bits.
Wizkid will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from February 24 to May 12, 2008.