Availabot tells you if your buddy is online...and alive?

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There are now officially enough random USB gadgets to kill each and every last one of us. If anything, they're just getting weirder . Okay, so the Availabot isn't entirely useless. Remember those little plastic figures who you could push on their base and they would collapse due to loss of tension? Maybe? Close enough!

The Availabot is a USB-powered version of these figures that can be wired directly into your IM buddy list. The idea is that when your buddy comes online, the figure springs to life, and when they go offline, the figure turns into a mass of pudding. There's a movie of the Availabot in disturbing action, if you're feeling tempted.

Even more disturbingly, the Availabot can be designed to look like you, or one of your (surely many) acquaintances. As the website of the designers, British firm Schulze & Webb Ltd, suggests:

Availabot stores the IM details of the friend it represents in the puppet itself. That means you can buy a few, load them with your own IM screenname and service, and give them out like business cards to your closest contacts.

[via Engadget ]

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