Remember wowed geeks across the globe with its uncanny knack of reading emails aloud, telling you to wake up in the mornings and dictating the news now has a smarter successor: Nabaztag/tag.? He's back, and he's badder than ever. The plastic Internet router rabbit that
Nabaztag/tag is equipped with all the power of his predecessor plus the power to hear and 'smell' his surroundings. The rabbit has a microphone built into its navel, since according to the press release, "rabbits are using their ears for other things". (Are they being smutty?) This microphone allows voice activation so you can give Nabaztag/tag verbal orders, and it'll even wait until it hears you enter the room before it starts reading out the weather forecast.
The young rabbit can use his built-in speaker to play audio from a multitude of sources. Internet radio? Check. MP3s? Check. Podcasts and books? No sweat.
Perhaps more impressive is the fact Nabaztag/tag can 'smell' -- that is to say he has an RFID tag reader. When an object with an RFID tag is waved in front of it, the rabbit will detect exactly what that object is. Violet, the company behind Nabaztag/tag, says this could come in handy with RFID-equipped bouquets of flowers: you send your loved one a batch of Interflora's finest, he or she scans the bouquet with Nabaztag/tag and it'll read aloud your message -- you know, for that personal touch.
Nabaztag/tag is available for $165 (£85) -- you can grab more info from the official Web site. -RR