Ever wish you could express yourself better over Skype? Tired of being a disconnected head-in-a-box? A team at Stanford University has rigged a Mac computer screen to shake its screen when you shake your head, to nod, and to track other people's movements around the room. An added robotic arm can make gestures more emphatic, or knock on the table for attention. These fairly simple hacks had a noticeable effect on participants – they rated the remote interactions to be "more friendly, less dominant, and more involved." Someday, full-body physical avatars could facilitate teleconferencing, and help keep you out of morning traffic.
Via New Scientist.