Toshiba Got Real Weird

Toshiba isn’t a name you hear thrown around a whole lot at CES. It’s in the same league as the mammoths — Samsung, LG, Sony — but it’s never quite as exciting or overwhelming as the others’ booths. This year, however, Toshiba had a couple surprises up its sleeve.

The first was a “Communications Android,” which wasn’t actually great at communication. The robot was designed to look like a Japanese woman, and in the demo, she was able to speak a pre-programmed message and sing a song, “What A Wonderful World.” She looked relatively life-like, especially from a distance, but unfortunately had no data in-take abilities. In other words, she couldn’t see the world around her or hear anything we said, but rather could only express programmed messages.

It’s just a concept for now, but the idea is to give brands, venues, etc. the ability to put a Communications Android at a post and let it explain things, sell a product, or whatever else.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the booth…

Toshiba was testing a virtual try-on system, which uses cameras and some software to let you see what you’d look like in different outfits. All you have to do is stand in the target area, and the camera recognizes your face, hands, etc. Then, you simply choose between outfits, twirl around, and decide which one looks best.

Greg definitely knows how to work a skirt.

Toshiba envisions retailers using the system for their own clothes, but also offering a system in a mall or other large shopping area so that you can try on clothes that aren’t even around.