You can actually hire humans to do some errands for you. There are such concierge services and apps around and some of them are actually helpful. But the Zabosu Project is far more ambitious, as it gives an unseen before control over another person’s actions. But let’s not get paranoid before we learn what this is really about:
CEO Karl Lautman told Yahoo Tech that Zabosu is an Android app that would allow people to “rent” other people to do pretty much whatever they tell them to do. It’s similar to professional concierge services, except that with 4G cellular service, a microphone, and a smartphone camera thrown in, it enables the person paying for the service to see and hear everything that’s going on.
So let’s take a simple, plausible case: you are the CEO of a company and you have to go abroad for a conference. You can’t leave and you can’t skip the opportunity, so you use the Zabosu Project. This means you will hire another person from the country you need to be in and send that person in your stead to the conference. You will be able to see and hear everything, as the person will stream live the event and you will be able to whisper everything she needs to say on your behalf through an earpiece. How can you not embrace this project, right? Oh, and to make things more Sci – Fi, the “employer” is called “The Director”, while the hired person is called “The Actor”. Given the fact that you can hire all the Actors you want in the same time to do your… ehm… errands, world domination might not be something only movie villains can aim for.
If you saw too many spy movies and felt that Jason Bourne was a bit overpowered, you know why this project has some moral, ethical and social implications that are less kosher. But for the sake of objectivity, let’s just spill it out for you: the Zabosu Project is still in its Kickstarter funding phase, so you won’t be able to hire and remote – control another human just yet. The developers of the project intend to release the app (because it is just an app, mind you!) around September this year. However, they feel they need to be safer than sorry, so the app might actually be released towards the end of 2014.
While we are all in favor of having our grocery shopping done without us moving an inch away from our desks, we still have to direct, supervise and give indications to our chosen Actor. Which adds wasted money to wasted time. So why not take a breath of fresh air and buy our own snacks?