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01st Feb 2018

‘Human Uber’ has been created and everyone’s saying the same thing

Kyle Picknell

Welcome to the future.

Today is the day, ladies and gentleman. This is the day you can lie at home in bed and send a surrogate human user – complete with an iPad strapped to their face – to go off and do all the stuff that you don’t want to do.

Lunch date with your aunty?

Send a surrogate.

Meeting at work?

Send a surrogate.

Friend’s debut rap performance at an open-mic night?

Definitely send a surrogate.

Does that look creepy to you?

I mean, it’s just a person you’ve never met standing in front of you with a television screen for a head. With someone else’s face on. And look, they’re talking to you. They’re telling you to relax, this is the future, this is how human interaction is going to be now.  It’s all definitely, completely normal. It’s all fine. Sex robots are a thing now. This is all. Completely. Fine.

The technology, which comes from Japan (obviously), is named ChameleonMask, and was unveiled by its creator Jin Rekimoto of Sony at MIT Tech Review‘s EmTech event earlier this week, as reported by Select All.

Unsurprisingly, everyone is describing it as an episode of Black Mirror come to life.

How can these people see? Are these surrogates not just crashing around officers and restaurants, struggling to breath whilst their remote user tells them to turn right at the water fountain and try and find a woman named Claire.

“How will I know who she is?”

“She’s got brown hair”

“Right… Right.”

However, Rekimoto told audiences that the experience using the ChameleonMask was “surprisingly natural” and that during a pilot study he found that people would regard the masked surrogate as the right person.

ChameleonMask website explains that it works by using, “a real human as a surrogate for another remote user. To do this, a surrogate user wears a mask-shaped display that shows a remote user’s live face, and a voice channel transmits a remote user’s voice.”

So yeah, you can stop trying to duct-tape your laptop to a Topshop mannequin before you Skype and instead just find someone the exact same height and weight, with the same clothes, to ask if they’d like to walk around all day being you and doing all your boring – sorry – really cool things. Simple.