Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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The Tiny Lobster

Earring Phone / Diary / Personal Agent
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Earring PDA: The Tiny Lobster

The Tiny Lobster is an earring that functions as a diary, appointment manager and cell phone. It looks like a cute little lobster. The interface is primarily through mouth movements, and occasionally through touch (tapping it). It is supported by the Aquarium, a massive storage unit (CPU and hard drive) the size of a 10-gallon fish tank that is designed to live in your utility closet.

Cell Phone: It sends and receives phone calls using a voice-only interface with no need for phone numbers. You may have more private conversations by making mouth movements with no vocalisations.

PDA: It will schedule appointments (making phone calls for you if necesary) and remind you of important stuff.

Diary: It records continuously (ala Tivo) to a one-hour circular buffer. If you tell it to, it will transmit the last few minutes of audio (wirelessly) to the aquarium for permanent storage. You can use this feature to settle arguments, and record important conversations.

Privacy feature: It only records what *you* say, normally. If you tap someone else's lobster, you give it permission to record what you say for the duration of that encounter (in this case your lobster sends your text to the other lobster wirelessly).

The mutual tapping of each other's lobsters replaces handshaking and business-card exchange for business meetings.

jbum, Mar 29 2002

Lipreading http://mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/lipr.html
Lots of research on lipreading [spartanica, Mar 29 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I'm afraid that the ear would not be a practical place to try to pick up mouth movements in sufficient detail to implement your otherwise good idea about voiceless phone calls. You need something that can crawl around for a better look like a hermit crab.
spartanica, Mar 29 2002
  

       ... or a crayfish
thumbwax, Mar 30 2002
  

       Lagostinos?   

       Yabby. I like that better than "crawdads".
runforrestrun, Mar 30 2002
  

       "Yabby." There it is.   

       Don't be tappin' my lobster, buddy.
waugsqueke, Mar 30 2002
  
      
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