Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Remote Chicken Petter

I’ll admit that when I saw that the Mixed Reality Lab had produced technology that would allow office workers and world travelers to pet or stroke a live chicken from a thousand miles away, my first thought was one of skepticism.

I mean, for one thing, Chickens are pretty common. If I’m on a business trip in Atlanta and I really want to pet a chicken, I’m going to wager that I can find one locally.

But even more importantly, I don’t remember a single time in my whole life when I’ve ever wanted to pet a chicken. Oh sure, I’d love to train one to peck Ode To Joy on a tiny chicken piano like those trained birds you see in San Francisco:

“Listen, chicken, how many times do I have to tell you… the piano is that thing over there! No, not there! What are you doing? That’s just a tiny mirror! It’s right there! Just turn your head to the left… no no… your left…”

“Bok Bok … Bok.”

... Let’s see, what else would I want to do with a chicken if I had one? Oh yes, I remember: Eat it for dinner.

But, again, I never really thought about petting one from another city before seeing the page linked above.

The psychology of new technologies is interesting though, because once you know that a product is available, all of a sudden you can’t imagine living without it. Now, having seen the remote chicken petter, I honestly can’t wait for my next business trip just so I can pet a chicken from some far away city. It's going to be so sweet. My co-workers are going to be like, "Dude. You're seriously petting your pet chicken from more than 1000 miles away? Dang! I'd have to be within two or three feet of the animal to pull-off something like that."

So, although my first reaction was skeptical, my revised reaction to the Mixed Reality Lab’s remote chicken petting technology is, “Yeesh! It’s about time.”