There are some big booths on display on the floor of the trade show at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, but in a quiet (relatively speaking, of course) corner of the show two graduate students from the University of Tokyo and Hosei Univeristy are showing off a sweet little piece of technology. Called Otopot, the device lets you store and then pour away your voice like water.
It's a relatively simple concept, but it's also completely captivating.
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To begin a recording, you simply remove the lid on the pot. You then have up to a minute's recording time to leave a message. You could serve the rechargeable pot alongside your significant cup of coffee in the morning, or place one on a child's nightstand after he or she falls asleep at night so they have an uplifting message to greet them in the morning.
Once the recording is heard, the recipient can listen to it again and again by removing the lid. When it's time to erase the message, you simply tip the pot as if you were pouring out water and the recording vanishes. The pot can only hold one recording at a time, so it becomes a fun way to hold a very unusual form of conversation.
Right now the students, Takeshi Katayama and Shota Kumiji, are finishing up their studies but say they plan to launch the concept via a crowdfunding campaign later this year. The name of the company they've formed to market the device is Rhombus.