Bizarre Tech: Amagami Ham Ham, Respiray Wear A+, and Loona Smart Robot
Image credit: Loona
Hello my friends. Let’s have a summer review of the best gadgets of the year. I’ve enjoyed my time tittering away as I find the weirdest and most wonderful gizmos for you to peruse.
Amagami Ham Ham
Ya want a little nibble?
Japan’s Yukai Engineering has come up with something else questionable, following on from the ‘popular’ Qoobo, the cushion with a wagging tail.
This cute, kawaii robot has a special ability: to nibble on your finger.
They justify it like this: “Replicating the cute habits of babies, kittens, and puppies, it nibbles on your finger. While you stopped that behaviour in the past – as sharp little teeth can hurt – this adorable robot lets you enjoy the same comfort.”
With Amagami Ham Ham, you can keep “this sweet, gentle biting sensation nearby at all times”.
Apparently, being gnawed on is a stress reliever, and it’s suggested you use it at work. By hiding Amagami Ham Ham in your desk drawer, you can whap it out when you’ve had a barney with your manager. Just stick your finger in its mouth.
That won’t raise any eyebrows.You probably won’t be invited to work social events anymore, but you’ll be less stressed, so that’s something.
The wee nibbler has a sensor in its jaw area that recognises when a finger is in its mouth and starts to chow down.
Thankfully, each time you stick your finger in, Amagami Ham Ham delivers a different nibble.
“Conveying a variety of emotions in a nonverbal way, this robot gives you comfort.” So, no weird noises? Like it’s enjoying itself? That’s good news, I suppose. Saves your colleagues being uncomfortable around your presence.
Oh no, wait. The Amagami Ham Ham’s lower jaw moves – made of soft resin that flexes –and you’ll ‘enjoy’ sensations like mumble, reflex and massage.
I really don’t know the selling point for this. Unless, you know, you’re into this kind of thing...
You can choose from Yuzu, the Tricolor Cat, and Kotaro, the Shiba Inu, and it requires three AA batteries.
The idea for Amagami Ham Ham was apparently conceived during Yukai Engineering’s in-house ‘Makeathon 2020’. AKA: ‘We have no clue what will follow the unexpected success of the wagging cushion, so why not make a biting bot, and justify it via fond childhood memories of mouthing baby animals?’ Yep, good idea!
Respiray Wear A+
Look more like the pet you’re allergic to.
All the people promoting this gadget were wearing one, back in August 2022 when I attended IFA Berlin. I kid you not, it looked like some sort of extreme shock collar, or fetish party. NO! NAUGHTY SALES REP! GET AWAY FROM ME! SHOO!
Respiray is an Estonian technology company that develops “wearable devices that help people live healthier lives”. Or more subservient lives, if you catch my drift.
Its product, the Respiray Wear A+, apparently helps allergy sufferers with their airborne enemies: pollen, pets, dust, and other allergens.
Not food, or insect stings, ya know, the stuff that kills you. So don’t expect miracles to happen; make sure you still carry your EpiPen.
For myself, I would rather struggle through the day with antihistamines than put this monstrosity on my neck.
I tried the product, felt owned, and made the lady take it off right away because I felt like an absolute plonker.
The device supposedly takes in unfiltered air and directs airflow through a HEPA filter that collects pollen, dander, dust and mould particles. Cleaned air is then directed towards the mouth and nose at a much higher rate than people breathe in, creating “an allergy-free air zone around the face, which means there is no need to worry about allergies indoors”.
The Wear A+ was made by “international scientists, engineers and designers and manufactured by an Estonian company that follows the highest European manufacturing standards”. Surely with all that power and intelligence behind it, there would have been more of a push to help with the life-threatening allergies. But hey ho. Small breathing steps.
Loona Smart Robot
Look at the little thing!
Dubbed “an incredible pet who happens to be a robot”, this seems perfect for people who can’t have a floofy companion for whatever reason. I got myself a little rottweiler puppy last September, and I sometimes felt like I should have got a Loona instead. Less pee, less ruined furniture. Then again, she was a puppy. And I love dogs. So.
Apparently, little Loona welcomes you when you come home, and follows you around, looking all happy and stuff. Just like the real thing. Except it’s not floofy and warm and real and cute. Well, not CUTE.
As well as scratching, roaming and investigating suspicious bits and pieces, Loona also beatboxes, dances and poses for pictures.
I doubt my dogs could beatbox. So, that’s a point to Loona.
The bot has a high-definition RGB camera below its face and a central processing unit: “With up to 5 Tops of computing power, Loona sees you!” Sees me and judges? Records? The company could be collecting all the images of me being weird in my house.
Loona’s developer, KEYi Technology, says it can perform face recognition, body detection, gesture recognition, 3D motion capture, object recognition, emotion perception, label recognition and more. That’s a lot of stuff for a small petbot.
It’s powered by Amazon Lex, so the wee botty can recognise and understand voice commands and ‘provide feedback while keeping your information secure’. Yeah, OK, Russia.
The cutie patootie has six motors, and the wheels move with the help of two brushless servomotors. Using the legs, ears and eyes, Loona apparently has over 700 expressions. It can also stand, roll over and pop back up like a needy hound.
Loona comes with an app (of course), which has real games such as quizzes and charades that you can play with the bot. My pets might struggle with that.
Check out eandt.theiet.org/tags/bizarre-tech for all the beauties I’ve found for you over the years.
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