In the 80s, you weren’t cool if you weren’t rocking a boombox; now in the 201st decade, you might not be cool unless you have a boombot.
A company called TovBot, a compilation of robot researchers and entrepreneurs hailing from Georgia Tech, IDC in Israel, and MIT Media Lab, was over the plain old method for taking in music. They wanted an interactive and intelligent user experience. A new robofriend named Shimi (fittingly pronounced shimmy) has been born to do just that. Shimi has some pretty amazing features for an mp3 dock, and should be in your living room in 2013.
Shimi is equal parts performing artist, conductor and companion. Plug your smartphone into Shimi and it becomes a dancing DJ that plays to the crowd. This gender neutral robot can recognize your face and point it’s speakers at you, providing the crispest sound experience imaginable. Want to stay connected to friends? Shimi alerts you when you get a new Facebook update and shimmies at you when you gain a new Twitter follower.
As if that wasn’t futuristic enough, gesture recognition allows Shimi to read your rhythms and play songs based on the way you’re dancing or clapping. The friendly robo-companion can evidently even teach you how to play instruments!
Last but not least, a built in camera on Shimi will transmit live feeds of your dance parties to friends worldwide. “We’ve packed a lot of exciting robotics technology into Shimi,” says Gil Weinberg, CEO of Tovbot. “Shimi is actually the product of nearly a decade of musical robotics research.
The invention is not without controversy, though. Rumors are circulating that Shimi may actually be the love child stemming from an affair between My Pal 2 and a Furby.
Though already pretty sweet, the designers have big dreams for their creation. The developers think this type of interactive robot technology can have a valuable impact on gaming, education, music making and content sharing. The producers are taking e-mails for preorders, which they hope will be delivered in 2013.
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