If you have ever had to put up with video conferencing you will know how weird it is, like being a low budget Tv star. So the lovely people at Nokia have invented a pet video conferencing unit. It can be moved around so that you can interact with it anywhere. They have called it Jeppe and it is loaded with a two-way video camera, a digital compass sensor and sound sensor. The idea is that Jeppe encourages more relaxed “passive conferencing”, so video chat becomes more like an activity you simply do rather than a formal task.
Jeppe is controlled by a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, using a pre-defined set of six gestures to trigger movement. Although reasonably limited at the moment, the plan is that Jeppe can be remotely controlled via the Internet, move independently by knowing where he is and routes to other places, and gather up digital info from his surroundings and other devices, that Jeppe could then send to the person controlling him remotely via the web.
Equally as interesting is the fact that the hardware being used isn’t being plucked from the realms of the future, but rather is a mash-up of existing technologies and components such as Bluetooth, the N800 and even the brain box from the Lego NXT robot.
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