Cellular Squirrel

We love the concept behind this device — to screen your cellphone calls for importance while you're busy chatting up someone else — we just have no idea why it involves a squirrel. MIT's Stefan Marti has developed the Bluetooth, animatronic, context-aware Cellular Squirrel as part of his dissertation project — when it picks up an incoming call, it actually engages the remote caller in a conversation and compares keywords from the interaction to keywords picked up from the conversation you're having nearby. It combines this data with your contact list and the caller's tone of voice to determine whether the call is important enough to interrupt you. Yeah, we laugh at it, but we secretly want one, because to get your attention it gyrates its body in that animatronic way that makes us feel kinda funny. We've installed a fleet of 20 in the Engadget call center.

[Via Mobile burn]

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