Having trouble interacting with other people? Can’t seem to master the art of small talk? Enter the Conversacube designed by Lauren McCarthy ’08. The device will prompt you what to say and do in a variety of social situations.
Simply put the box in the middle of all the conversants and follow the cues that appear on the screen. Microphones inside the box monitor each person’s speech to keep the conversation balanced and smooth, even indicating when to enliven your demeanor or mediate conflict. It will also detect when someone new joins the group and prompt them for a seamless introduction. See it in action below (and find other funny videos on the Conversacube website).
But is it for real, or is it art? McCarthy wants to keep people guessing. As she says on her website: “The intent is to create a tool that on one hand, explores the idea of an actual commercial product that uses technology to improve interactions and on the other hand, is critical of our dependence on technology and choreographed social routines, hinting at a dystopic future where we sacrifice our autonomy to avoid having to face anything uncomfortable.”