Charles the GPS robot can read a driver’s expressions

by Mark R

This week, we are going to be at CES 2011 in Vegas, and we will be covering a lot of brand spanking new technology from a lot of real companies. I thought that I would get this conceptual product out of the way before I head down to Vegas tomorrow.

This is Charles, a GPS unit that is not a small box that suction cups to your dashboard. As you can see from the picture, Charles has a head along with shoulders. (He is the one on the right, by the way.)

Charles is designed from scientists at Cambridge, and it can read the user’s facial expression, voice tone, as other behavioral hints so it is “more sympathetic to your mood”.

I’m not certain what that means. Does this mean it says things like “it’s okay, you’re not lost” in a sensitive voice so I don’t feel too bad about not being there by now? By the way, my Source says that Charles is “70 percent accurate at gauging the emotional state of the driver”. I had no idea that our technology was that accurate.

I guess that I wouldn’t mind having a GPS that is a little more human, but this is a little too human. It reminds me of the Johnny Cab from Total Recall, only Charles is the passenger and not the driver.


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