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Sony makes floating-head telepresence avatars a reality, Sean Connery digs out gun and red speedos

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The real world just got a little more Zardoz thanks to Tobita Hiroaki and his colleagues at Sony Computer Science Laboratory, who've built a telepresence blimp that projects the operator's face across its meter-wide surface. The looming, translucent face can float about like any other blimp; an interior camera allows the user to see where it's going. The whole thing is ominous in a completely different way from, say, a tiny googly-eyed robot perched on your shoulder, but something about its nearly silent movements still gives us the creeps – and unlike the Anybots QB, it's not going to pick up your scone from the café. But if your dreams include having others bow before your god-like visage, you'll have to wait awhile, as the technology's still in its early stages. In the meantime, you can practice intoning "Zardoz is pleased!" while watching the video above.

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