Sharp Introduces Smartphone That Looks Like a Robot

December 2, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. standard / ˈstæn dərd / (adj.) – referring to something that is average
Example: Our standard mobile phone models are quite cheap.

2. identify / aɪˈdɛn təˌfaɪ / (v.) – to recognize something
Example: The police was able to identify the thief through the security camera.

3. store / stɔr / (v.) – to keep something that is not being used
Example: The teacher stored the students’ phones in the lockers during their exam.

4. practical / ˈpræk tɪ kəl / (adj.) – pertaining to something that is useful
Example: Many new cellphones are practical to use.

5. deviate / ˈdi viˌeɪt / (v.) – to move away from the usual
Example: The robot-shaped phone deviates from the usual design of phones.


Read the text below.
A Japanese company unveiled a smartphone that looks like a robot.

Combining the words "robot" and "phone", Sharp's RoboHon is an Android smartphone in the shape of a robot. The company worked with Tomotaka Takahashi, who is known for creating small robots that have social capabilities.

Measuring more than seven inches, the robot’s face has a built-in camera and projector which allows users to project images on a screen or wall. It also has a two-inch screen on its back.

RoboHon has the features of a standard smartphone even though it looks like a robot. It can be used to make calls and send emails and texts.

While RoboHon is primarily a smartphone, it also has other features that are not available in a regular smartphone. It is able to identify faces and voices, so it can call out the user’s name when taking a picture. RoboHon can also inform the user about certain updates, such as receiving a new message. It can also walk, talk, and dance.

RoboHon can be stored inside the user’s top pocket, which is a good place for the user to be able to talk into the device. Takahashi says that RoboHon is both a fun and practical gadget to use.

Other than Sharp, other brands have also produced unique-looking smartphones. One of these is Monohm’s Runcible, which looks like a pocket watch. While other smartphones are getting bigger, Runcible was designed to be smaller. Its circular shape also deviates from the usual shape of smartphones.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that the RoboHon is practical? Why or why not?
·         What do think would make people buy the RoboHon? Why?

Discussion B

·         If you had the chance to improve the RoboHon, what would you do and why?
·         Would you buy this kind of smartphone? Why or why not?

December 2, 2015