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'i-Buddy' brings IM emoticons to life

It's the perfect companion to the "Nabaztag."


It should have been obvious that the "Nabaztag" was having some emotional problems when it turned to graffiti, let alone self-defacement. The Wi-Fi rabbit had apparently grown quickly from its innocent beginnings into precocious adolescence, perhaps accelerated by instant fame.

Yet it's not too late to set it straight: All it needs is some positive companionship to avoid following Britney to UCLA Med Center. And that's where "i-Buddy" comes in.

It would seem to be a perfect match for the troubled bunny, recognizing specific acquaintances when they sign onto MSN Messenger and then reacting to certain emoticons accordingly--shaking, twisting, changing colors, and flapping wings, according to Chip Chick. It wouldn't, however, be a good sign if its face turns red during an encounter with the 'Tag. But fear not, the i-Buddy won't pose much of a threat because, at just 3 inches tall, it's only about a third of the rabbit's height.