May 31, 2005

I see where this is going

Ananova has a story from the National University of Singapore entitled "Stroke a chicken over the internet". I'll quote most of it here.
"Users touch a chicken-shaped doll which duplicates the actions of a real chicken through a webcam link.

Touch sensors on the doll send 'tactile information' over the internet to a second computer near the chicken.

This computer triggers tiny vibration motors in a lightweight jacket worn by the chicken, meaning the chicken feels the user's touch in the exact same place as the doll was stroked.

"This is the first human-poultry interaction system ever developed," said Professor Adrian David Cheok who has been developing the technology for nearly two years.

"We understand the perceived eccentricity of developing a system for humans to interact with poultry remotely, but this work has a much wider significance."

Remote interaction could allow people who are allergic to dogs and cats to caress their pets remotely. Used in zoos, it may allow visitors to pat a lion or scratch a bear."
Now I'm sure that these folks mean well. There must be thousands of sneezing pet owners who would like to stroke their dander shedding buddies at a distance, and even more folks who'd like to beard a lion at the zoo. I'm sure these straight shooters from Singapore have never heard of Internet porn or considered that there just might be big money in some sort of 2-way touchy-feely Intenet sex.

Picture a sort of union suit with a firewire connector.

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