It’s not to say that we love it when the boss isn’t around. Okay, maybe we get a little excited when the headman isn’t around to breathe down our necks and gives us flack every time we slack off just a little bit. But Microsoft is either about to get a lot of fans, or a lot of enemies off of their latest invention, the Robot Boss. Like something out of Demolition Man, the object of the Robot Boss is to give a boss or supervisor the capability to watch and track movement throughout the office from any remote location with an internet connection. Don’t get too worried about your job placement just yet, this is only an idea that Microsoft is kicking around, and it could be flattened as fast as it was thought up.
Unlike a remote-controlled camera, Microsoft’s Robot Boss was built to respond to movements and actions on its own. If it were placed in a conference meeting, it would interact with those that were speaking during a meeting. If the office was quieter, it would respond to movement by employees as they go through their daily routines. The camera embedded in the robot displays what the robot sees to supervisors while displaying an image of the supervisor from his location to those that are interacting with the robot.
To be specific, Microsoft’s idea comes with a pair of cameras, wheels and a high-definition display. The robot can either be controlled by the user, or as previously mentioned, respond to actions on its own based on being trained to focus on both voice and body movement. There is no word as to whether or not the robot will allow the operator to speak directly to those it is looking at.
While this is certainly outside the realm of creativity that we are used to from Microsoft, it has generated a lot of buzz. There have been several projects that Microsoft has concocted that never saw the light of day, and this is more than likely to join that pile. However, it has led us to think that this could be the wave of the future for everything from bosses trying to properly oversee productivity, to parents attending a parent-teacher conference, and even for a dad trying to watch his son’s soccer game while he’s away on business. Whether or not the product comes to fruition, the idea alone is powerful enough to change the world and get people thinking.