If there’s one thing I know you want, it’s a bizarre blobby ghost-thing for your desktop. Have I got a treat for you.
Students at the University of Tokyo and Waseda University have teamed up to create just such a thing. The Kokonatchi is an aforementioned bizarre blobby ghost-thing that monitors your Twitter feed for incoming messages and, after scanning them for content (via trigger words, emoticons, etc), alerts the user (you) by lighting up (via RGB LEDs), making totally freaky bird noises, and wiggling all over the place.
On its own, that’s not terribly exciting. I’ve written about similar things before. But where Kokonatchi shines is in that you can, in fact, use it to directly reply to Twitter messages. By …’massaging’ the thing, you can activate pre-recorded words (20 natively, up to 1000 with an SD card) that will auto-reply to your incoming tweet. You know, the one you can’t read anyway. Handy.
The students spent some long hours perfecting the design of the toy, designing it to be cute enough that a grown woman wouldn’t mind owning one. Hell, I’m a grizzled man’s man and even I’m pretty taken by the cuteness, here. Twitter being a pretty explosive phenom in Japan, it’s entirely possible that… as if I’m about to say this… ‘Twitter critters’ (I rolled my eyes. I actually rolled my eyes) could catch on in a big way. Remember Tamagotchis? You remember Tamagotchis.