Move over iBuddy and Availbot, the masters of robo-companionship toys have arrived on scene. This is a WowWee Chatterbot, a USB-powered desktop companion that reacts with some motion and a bit of chattering to "trigger" words typed into emails, IM, calendar entries and the like. It's not as smart as Robosapien, of course: basically it just spouts out jokes and bits of commentary. Because we all like hellish dogs with eerie eyes responding to our typing, don't we? The video reveals the toy in action.
If the doggy version is a touch too scary for you there's also an Angel and Devil, and a Fairy Godfather version, and I'm hoping they're somewhat friendlier. The little guys were apparently shown at CES earlier this year, but we've only just caught sight of them now, in this Slashgear review. It does look like their sensitivity is a bit off, since they seem to miss some trigger words, but that's the sort of thing that may be addressed in a software update at a later date.
At least these animated toys have another function besides annoying you as you type: they have a speaker and battery-powered action so you can plug in an MP3 player and use them standalone. They're PC and Mac compatible, and are available for US$49.99. [Chatterbots Online via Slashgear]