Remember Sony’s robot dog AIBO? It arrived amidst our cultural obsession with digital pets and animatronics in the late ‘90s (Tamagotchi, Furby, every theme park creature), which, so to speak, kind of faded fast once we all got iPods to keep us busy. Behold the SmartPet then: the spiritual successor of both AIBO and the iPod, rolled into one. Yes, its head is an iPhone and it’s wholly unnecessary and head-scratchingly creepy.
Japanese manufacturer Bandai—who actually gave the world Tamagotchis—created the mini monstrosity and won the 2012 Tokyo Toy Show, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. It walks, sits and responds to its owner via touchscreen and voice recognition. And its iPhone head can change facial appearance via the SmartPet app, and is also programmed with 100 facial expressions. The only thing about SmartPet that isn’t utterly ridiculous: it’s price of only $100.