The problem with digital assistants, Microsoft Word’s Clippy included, is that they can’t really do that much. Sure, they can offer you tips on copying-and-pasting and saving your work often. But they remain on the screen. MIT Media Lab’s new LineFORM robot makes that all better. The linear device can be a phone, a touch pad, and even a stencil. Your desk won’t need anything else.
The GIFs that the new media technology Tumblr Prosthetic Knowledge gathers are cartoonishly anthropomorphized. The snake robot flips into a phone handset; loops around your wrist and taps you when it has a message like an animalistic Apple Watch; and it wiggles when plugged into a laptop with data flowing through it! There’s a theoretical explanation about “the dynamism of animated curves,” but it mostly looks like the Pixar lamp came to life.
It’s a physical companion to the very virtual space of our computers. I bet it can even curl into the shape of a paper clip, if you really want.