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The Credit Card Monkey reminded me of what someone did at work once: put one of those stuffed animals, whose mouth moves in response to sound, on top of a conference call telephone in the middle of the conference table. Whenever the callers spoke, its mouth moved accordingly. Made for a much more interesting
For even better response, these could be custom made to hook directly to the audio system of the conference call phone, and have a base made to fit, for example, on the popular "batphones" (Polycom Soundstation).
Future versions could change expression in response to the tenor of callers' voices.
Related idea (whole-body motion, not just the mouth) [egnor, Jul 14 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]
(?) The next best thing to HAL from 2001
sort of fits the theme... [lucidish, Jul 14 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]
the opposite of...
Body Language Interpreter [etrigan, Jul 14 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]
||Or, generate a cartoonish representation of the party on the other end (i.e., don't try for anything approaching normal video resolution, just render stuff in flat colors, etc) and animate it according to sound. (and possibly movement, picked up by a camera, if you want to get fancy) Sort of like evocations in _A Fire Upon The Deep_.
||Hrmmm. Someone brought up the ever-popular "bandwidth thrifty videoconfrencing" idea. I personally hope that someone eventually manages to pull it off. It may be gimmicky, but I want nothing more than a simple-to-operate piece of software that over uses the photoshop "watercolor" tool on any incoming images from low-bandwidth VC. I don't want grainy, I don't want Tron or Reboot-like, I want watercolor.