There are some days when all you just to do is to flip the bird (i.e. give the finger) to the person on the other side of the screen. On that note, the MobiLimb was designed specifically for that purpose – to give you the ability to literally poke someone with a prosthetic digit attached to your phone.
The accessory, if you could call it that, is the brainchild of Marc Teyssier and a group of French researchers. It’s powered through the microUSB connector on your typical smartphone, and features several servos that are powerful enough to pull itself from across the table, smartphone in tow. An Adruino microcontroller controls the servos, reading commands sent from the smartphone.
Researchers envision the MobiLimb to be an extension of users over the internet to send gestures and taps to a second party. It can also be used as a notification alert, as the finger can tap the table if a notification comes in or even move when another user sends a command.
The robotic finger is creepy, but it does represents a new method of haptic interaction on line between two or more people. Right now it is only a research project, but in the near future it could be a new form of long distance communication that involves, quite ironically, touch.