When was the last time you stopped at a window display for more than a minute, or even 10 seconds? Well, this mannequin at Takashimaya department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo did a really good job capturing my attention for quite a while.
Take a look at these short video clips I recorded:
Her name is “GeminoidF” and she was developed by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro’s team at Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (Osaka University). Her expression is so real it’s almost creepy, yet you just can’t stop looking at her.
While I was standing away from the display to get out of other people who started gathering around, one of the staff (probably the lab member?) told me to get closer to the display. He said that her motion is activated by the input captured by Kinect and webcam which are set up behind her. I thought it was interesting that he said if you overdo it she’ll start ignoring you – so don’t make any big/unusual movement.
As amazing as it was to see this in real life, the novelty of android mannequin may go away after a while. Though I still think it’s surprisingly capturing to have a human-like figure in front of you in comparison to some kind of digital interactive display.
What if she can respond to what you say? What if she is more responsive to your movement or even expression? I think these androids have a good potential of capturing people’s attention if they can perfect the response/feedback mechanism (which they are already trying to do with this display experiment too).