Robot Eyes Replace Your Blank Stare With (Fake) Human Expression

Coming across as a socially functioning human who expresses real emotions can be such a drain. If only there was a high-tech way to replace your flat, expressionless gaze with a digital approximation of human warmth. Well, search no more. AgencyGlass is here.

Invented by Dr. Hirotaka Osawa at Japan's Tsukuba University, AgencyGlass takes the load off your facial muscles and the emotional centers of your brain with a Bluetooth computer and a pair of OLED displays. The built-in gyroscopes steer your fake eyes to coincide with your real head's position (for instance, looking up with a thoughtful expression when you tilt your head back), and a shirt-pocket camera tracks the faces of the people around you to maintain polite, piercing (fake) eye contact.

No more taxing emotional labor for you—let your virtual eyes convey friendly charm and openness, while behind them you plot your world takeover.

This all sounds pretty goofy, and Dr. Osawa's cheeky video acknowledges it as such, but he gives a few examples where this tech could be very useful—like flight attendants who have to stay cheerful despite grouchy passengers and rough flights.

Of course, Dr. Osawa's video shows this technology's true potential at the very end: secret napping in the office. Clearly, this is the future of clandestine snoozing. [IEEE Spectrum via Geekosystem]