Although I'm an avid tennis fan, this post is not paying homage to John McEnroe, who often uttered the words "you cannot be serious" and sundry words I can't repeat to umpires and line judges in matches. Rather, the statement was the first thought that crossed my mind when I read about a new product introduction this week. I guess the imaginations of product designers—particularly lonely designers—know no bounds or taste.
Are you ready for this? Reuters reported yesterday that Japanese firm Sega Toys has produced a 15-inch tall robotic girlfriend that kisses on command. Scheduled to go on sale in September in Japan, the girlfriend will sell for around $175. (That sounds so wrong.) The target market? Lonely adult men.
Using her infrared sensors and battery power, the big-busted, petite, very friendly maiden named EMA (Eternal Maiden Actualization) puckers up for nearby human heads, entering what the creative designers call her "love mode."
EMA also can sing and dance and hand out business cards. The company hopes to sell 10,000 EMAs in the first year.
Is there something in the water in Japan? Each year, Meiwa Electronics hosts the Stupid Robot Contest in which inventors showcase their robotic creations. Three rules determine an entry's eligibility:
- It must be mechanical.
- It must be completely useless from a societal standpoint.
- It must make people laugh.
If any lonely guys are among the judges, EMA might not be eligible (rule No. 2).
Robotics is a fascinating field. I can sit transfixed watching a robot perform a task in a plant.
Exhibits featuring robots were among those that interested me the most at last year's FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show. I am truly amazed by the capabilities and precision of industrial robots.
I also enjoy checking out the iRobot® Web site periodically to see what's new. Among the more interesting products I ran across today were the ConnectR™ for virtual visiting and the John Deere R-Gator™ designed to help safeguard military personnel.
Robots can serve many practical, worthwhile purposes. They don't need to debase a gender—either the female EMA represents, or the lonely man who is so desperate for a kiss that he must resort to buying a stupid toy. FYI & any business person who has EMA hand me a card can say sayonara to doing business with me.