Does anyone remember when the Macintosh had the talking-moose screensaver? This was the early days of computerized speech, maybe 15 years ago. If you hadn’t touched the keyboard in a while, he would pop up on screen and chastise you for being lazy, and then demand a pizza—with “pepperonis” and anchovies. Skittles’s computerized voices aren’t as charming, but give them an A for effort. At Skittles.com, a groovy interface lets you create and e-mail a talking version of yourself. You can select one of nine faces, adjust your head, mouth, nose and upper-body size, and also pick your eye, hair, mouth and skin color. Then you can customize your “lids,” “threads,” “bling,” “shades,” “mops” and “fuzz” (if you’re getting lost here, you might want to move along). Finally, you choose a voice and type in what you want to say. We have yet to hear of anyone getting fired via a talking Skittles character, but can such a development be far off?
—Posted by Tim Nudd