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AKEKUKU box, François Rollin

Shytech with immediate hilarious feedback

Here are some questions raised by this experience
keep reading to find part of the answers

Do we really need traditional KPIs like market research, ergnonomy and  meaningfullness to create smart products?

Can artificial intelligence help operate stupid products?

Project AKEKUKU box

release DATE 1989


developed by canal + team 

Designed by François Rollin

 Today’s article is a clear proof that smart speakers Alexa echo and Google home reused the french creative design from the 90s TV show. Silicon Valley designers copied 100% of the simple wearable design and the easy-to-understand keyword. AKEKUKU box is a voice-controlled smart product for which a key sentence initiates a sequence of artistic, cinematic and audio feedback. The AKEKUKU box belongs  to the family of gadgets that are  sophisticated and ingenious systems to be « the most helpful device » This innovative setup is becoming so famous that a wikipedia article is dedicated to it. You can also get an android app or get a real AKEKUKU box as a gadget.

Shytech with immediate hilarious feedback

experiential setup

User identifiation

Stepper motor

Media player

Voice command

experience epics

The object is a small wood box that completely hides embedded functionalities and technology.

use case

Control a shy-tech black box with voice

The object is a small wood box that completely hides embedded functionalities and technologies. For sure this design from the 90s TV show paid the emergence of smart speakers with the same simple design, invisible mic, and natural material.

use case

Facilitate the user interaction with easy-to-sat/easy-to-understand keyword

Both Alexa and AKEKUKU box have chosen a keyword with a specific phonetics. Alexa with the « X » that is easy to recognize with a hard consonant invented in 2014. « Ah, que Coucou » (french in the text) pronounce « AKEKUKU » is a 4 phonemes keyword with 3 recognizable « K », hard consonants! It’s a strong mistake for Alexa not to have chosen AKEKKUKU as a keyword avoided, that would have made the AI for recognition easier and avoided annoying people all « Alexa » consonant person in the world. As far as we know nobody has AKEKUKU as a first name. 

use case

Gentle scenarisation

Just after the voice command, a white egg is pops up from the black box creating a very nice contrast. Simultenaoul the box is generating an audible « coucou » refering either to a swiss clockwall or a childgame (epicnpoc experts are still debating about it). Th efull scene does not take more than 1 second.

vitual personal assistant
use case

That's all

Just after the quick use case 1, things are going back to normal creating a surprise that so many technologies only last for so short moment. The user understands the magic of the smart product forcing himself to consider the stupidity and useless of life. The AKEKUKU box from this point of view is a zen smart product with the highest degree of wiseness.

vitual personal assistant

The single usage of the object pushes the user to repeat the epic 1 and epic 2

use case

Limitation to single usage product

The product reacts to a single keyword where we expect the voice control to support much more commands and functionalities.

use case

Limitation to a single user

The voice control seems to react to a single person since we’ve not seen anybody else than Johnny Haliday controlling it. The individualization of the usage increases the strange magic of the object. To be 100% honest the user recognition could also be provided by the choice of the keyword as nobody else than Johny Hallyday says « AKEKUKU »

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