Just in case a dystopian future does arrive, humans will at least have giant white, blob-like robot pillows to spoon with. In all fairness to German designer Stefan Ulrich, he probably wasn't aiming to create something that—when it was first unveiled last year—was quickly derided as a somewhat sad device heralding a "man-on-blob" age. The Funktionide, as Urlich named it, was intended to help stave off loneliness by being "alive." That is, as Time's Techland blogger Erin Skarda understands, it uses artificial muscle technology to help produce human-like movements.
These sensors in the pillow react to any sort of human touch or pressure, even breathing or cuddling. And, since humans already spend days cocooned in in various electronics, it shouldn't be that much of a stretch for a mattress to be semi-sentient. Is it?
"People already bury themselves in possessions and shield themselves from real life with technology. So if robots and objects can fulfill all their emotional needs as well, why do they need other humans?" remarked Ulrich who also apparently told UK's The Sun that his pillows may be a replacement for significant others.
Again, here's the bleak, comically surreal intro video to the blobby robot. If anything, it could leave you that much more thankful this holiday season.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.