If you’re an Arrested Development fanatic, like me, you remember Larry Middleman, the “surrogate” whom George Sr. sends to a family meeting in his stead because he’s confined to his home on house arrest. And even if you’ve never seen AD, (what is wrong with you?), the idea of strapping a camera on someone’s head and sending them places on your behalf should still sound pretty absurd, no?

Well, what once was a silly sitcom plot is now very much a real thing, at least in Japan. Meet the Human Uber.

Photo Credit: ChameleonMask

“Human Uber” is the nickname given to ChameleonMask, a new product from Japanese researcher Jun Rekimoto, who unveiled the tech at the MIT Review‘s EmTech conference this week. The way it works is simple: your surrogate puts on a motorcycle mask with an iPad strapped on the front, which is connected to a computer. You sit at the computer, and everything your surrogate sees, you see.

Meanwhile, whoever meets your surrogate will see your face displayed on their screen, and will hear your voice transmitted through a speaker. Rekimoto described the experience of using a ChameleonMask as “surprisingly natural,” which seems very optimistic!

Photo Credit: Chameleon Mask

ChameleonMask also has two communication channels. One public, which you use to speak through your surrogate, and one private, which you use to speak with your surrogate privately, and say things like, “No, you can’t go to the bathroom on my time. Just hold it.”

If you’d like a more detailed look at the Human Uber process, here’s a delightfully bizarre series of diagrams from the ChameleonMask website.

Step 1: Decide you want to use a Human Uber. 

Photo Credit: Chameleon Mask

Step 2: Choose the surrogate that resembles yourself. Should be easy, as long as you are a featureless stick man. 

Photo Credit: Chameleon Mask

Step 3: Meet your surrogate and fall in love with them. 

Photo Credit: Chameleon Mask

Step 4: Your surrogate attends a meeting, where they repeatedly slip and fall. 

Photo Credit: Chameleon Mask

The ChameleonMask started as a teleconferencing innovation, but there are all sorts of uses. With a Human Uber, you can:

-Run with the bulls in Pamplona

-Get into a bar fight

-Accept an Academy Award

-Commit adultery

-Visit Chernobyl

-Attend a funeral despite having severe gas

All from the safety of your own home!

Honestly, I can’t NOT think of uses for a Human Uber. Get yours today!


h/t: Crave Online and Vice