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Goin’ Japanesque!

RoBoHoN: The World’s First Humanoid Robot-Phone from Sharp

Sharp announced that the world’s first robot and smart phone combination, known as “RoBoHoN,” will go on sale on 5/26/2016. As one of the major corporations supporting Japan’s development, Sharp’s latest advancement is catching a lot of attention. Today we’ll be talking about how the RoBoHoN can change your life. Thumbnail: http://news.yahoo.co.jp/

 

Features and Functions of the RoBoHoN

  • Product Details: 19.5cm long (sized to be carried around in your breast pocket), weighs 390g and costs 198,000 yen (excluding tax)
  • As a robot: It can walk on two feet. It’s much more compact than traditional humanoid robots. It will come to you when you say “kite” (come) and it can even dance.
  • As a phone: It can be used for regular phone calls, texts and as a camera with LTE and 3G compatibility. Its basic functionality is voice recognition so you can have it send a text from the words you speak to it and have it read the texts you receive aloud. Also, if you say “shashin o totte” (take a photo) it will automatically take a picture.
  • As a projector: It can project clear photos or videos it’s taken and maps (like Google Maps) on walls or floors.
  • Very Human-like: It’s equipped with artificial intelligence so that it will slowly accumulate knowledge, learn and grow from registered users’ profiles and being talked to and carried around. As a result, its responses will become more natural and it’ll become the optimal RoBoHoN for the user. And with its facial recognition system it can naturally differentiate the main user from friends and family by facial features and call them by name.

RoBoHoN1

 

Future Plans for RoBoHoN from Sharp

Current smart phones have reached the highest level of convenience and usability so that it’s hard to imagine making any more dramatic steps forward. As next-generation devices, smart phones combined with glasses or watches have been released but it’s the humanoid robots with A.I. that will create the next generation–not these items. Many apps related to the RoBoHoN are being developed and when they’re completed it will make it an even more high-functioning and convenience device. And if there’s an explosion in RoBoHoN users then it’s very possible it could become the latest platform. In the anime and manga world there are small “supporters” who help the protagonist (like Medama-oyaji from Gegege no Kitaro or Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service) but perhaps the day of this being a robot like RoBoHoN is coming soon.

 

What We at GJ Think

Once the device is successfully launched and achieves significant business volume, we imagine that the device would be developed to be even more compact and functional. The day may be coming where we change from carrying around smartphones to carrying around RoBoHoN. A robot that can have conversations like a humans, go on trips with you, share in memories and for whom you can grow fond for sounds very interesting. It may not be far off before robots aren’t just in large-scale projects or inside factories for major corporations but also play active roles in our own personal lives.

 

There is currently a RoBoHoN experience booth set up at the Tokyu Plaza Ginza Hands Expo, which opened a few days ago. If you’re curious, go test one out!

Related:
Henn na Hotel: World’s First Super Cheap Hotel is Now Open
Omotenashi Guide: An Innovative App for Non-Japanese Speakers

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