By Mayukh Saha
Are you a raging sociophobe, not willing to exchange pleasantries with people you meet like a normal person? Do you feel out of place and out of time in places with too many people? Do you have said crowds stare at you with prying eyes as you counter their stares with your sociophobe’s gaze?
If the answers are yesses, we might have the thing for you: people in iPad masks living your life for you, while you spend it doing something you like to do.
Presenting, the human Uber!
Technological advancements have gone long ways and in recent years, really down bizarre alleyways, if you ask me. Anyone who has watched Black Mirror is going to agree when I say that the times coming might not necessarily be blessed by the gods of sensible technology.
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For example, you have extremely advanced and intricately made sex dolls which will replace human intimacy, you have apps that let you order almost everything home, thereby foreclosing the need for even minimal exchange with people who engage in tasks like driving you or packing your food or even taking your orders.
And now, thanks to ‘the human Uber’, you don’t even have to be social by yourself anymore. A surrogate will attach an iPad mask onto his/her face and go to social situations, allowing you to see what they are seeing and enjoy, without the added baggage of going out and actually being in the moment.
At MIT Tech Review’s EmTech, Jun Rekimoto presented ChameleonMask, what he calls a Human Uber, but is more close to Sheldon Cooper’s remote living system from Big Bang Theory, a kind of live FaceTime attached to a human host.
“Human Uber,” developed in Japan, provides a way to attend events remotely using another person’s body. “It’s surprisingly natural” says its inventor, Jin Rekimoto of Sony #emtechasia pic.twitter.com/WZHPVcZ6M0
— will knight (@willknight) 30 stycznia 2018
It also helps you stream the remote user’s, a.k.a. your, voice. Rekimoto reported the experiment to feel surprisingly natural.
Rekimoto, however, suggests you choose a surrogate with a body type similar to yours for an optimal experience.
— Haley Ross (@haleylaurenross) 31 stycznia 2018
The usage will be something like this: say your friend invites you to something you just want to go to. No worries, use the ChameleonMask to get yourself a human rube, or surrogate, and use him/her to go to the event you hate, thereby not risking pissing off your friend.
It is not a new idea and remote living and sensing devices have been around for a while now. But the thing is, this is probably the first time that this has been taken this seriously.
Who knows, maybe in the coming years, everyone who can afford it will just live from couches as their lives are led by other people.
Crazy, crazy times.