Yesterday, I received an email from the French makers of Nabaztag, that cute wi-fi pet that I received as a birthday present last year (not the newer “tag” version but the original model). The electronic note asked:
How’s Toros doing?
We’re choking up a bit. There’s a few tear drops on our cheecks. Sadness? Anxiety? Really, it’s both. Because it’s been a while since Toros, your Nabaztag, that cute little Rabbit in your life, has given even the smallest sign of life! Please, so we can go on, so we can be happy… reassure us, tell us what’s up…Is he a bit under the weather? Was he unable to find a soulmate to chatter away with? Was he all sad and alone in the corner with only his ears to occupy him? Didn’t the wonderous services which you asked him to do make his life worth living?
I instantly got a lump in my throat. Toros was the name I assigned to my Nabaztag (an Armenian name for a French Armenian rabbit–nabaztag means rabbit in Armenian). I become rather sad when I replied, “Toros is dead.”
It’s sad that my little bunny is no more. I suggested that Veken get rid of him after he sat unplugged for months, unable to sync properly to our wi-fi network, he seemed to be pining away unused and unconnected.
What started off with a bang of excitement over the next big techie thing quickly deflated into apathy (survival of the coolest, I guess).
Even reading the Nabaztag blog, though quirky and funny, was useless–all the posts bordered on the lame.
Sure Nabaztag received a hell of a lot of press when it debuted over a year ago, but it was never truly embraced by the blogosphere and its future-forward thinking citizens:
- the cool-chaser blog Gizmodo called our long-eared friend only “semi-cool“ (ouch!)
- another sign of it’s B-grade status happened when Nabaztag popped up on the blog Pointless-but-cool (eck!)
- C/Net was kinder to the French toy and calls it “cool” but then adds “Generally I believe there is a market for more Wifi toys…what about a wall LCD display that can show time, messages and still look elegant without using insane amounts of energy? (my electric bill is already too high)“–AMEN!
If you really want to know what Nabaztag is truly like, then check out this report on HGTV. If you want to see Nabaztag talking to another gadget in a sublime moment that evokes Nam June Paik’s “TV-Buddha” then click here. Or if you have patience to watch a 10 min. clip on YouTube by Jesuit (yes, the religious order) Californian tech-nerd, then enjoy.
But the most beautiful use I’ve encountered for the Nabaztag is this Nabaztag Opera that incorporates 100 smart rabbits at Centre Pompidou to perform a wi-fi opera specially composed by Antoine Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Birgé. It makes me want Toros back! But alas, I’m not going to Fresh Kills to get him.