Looking like a sinister one-episode enemy from Doctor Who, this humanoid-shaped phone will transmit both the voice and face movements to and from whomever you’re calling.
The off-puttingly blank face was chosen so that users could project the human presence of callers, whether they’re old or young, male or female.
The Elfoid P1 looks like the sinister progeny of the previously announced Telenoid, and is a eight inch, foam-covered androgynous figurine.
According to their press release (Japanese), the makers Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International say the appearance of the figure gives a 'relaxing sensation' to users. We think the opposite- if that was handed to us, we’d recoil in horror. Case in point: phone keys are found under its skin.
Containing normal phone parts in addition to a camera to record and send your facial movement, currently, the handheld Elfoid doesn't have the facial movement of it's bigger brother, but future development is looking to include the necessary mechanics.
ATR are hoping to have a commercial model available within five years, so for info on pricing and availability, come back to us in 2016. We still can’t look at this foetus-phone straight on, and fear they could come alive at night, and ‘get’ us. Even if it really is armless. Ba dum tsch.