I have to admit my first thought was; how cool is that? It was followed closely by; we need one of those at the reference desk! Why? We have recently begun using Meebo for IM/Chat services and a persistent complaint revolves around needing sound for message notification. A little over the top, definitely, but this guy would be a visual representation of an IM arriving, especially since I-Buddy will reflect different emoticons attached to a message (check out What can it do).
"i-Buddy is specially designed for Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger) users. It is a physical representation of your buddy. You can program it to recognize a particular buddy account, and it will response to all messages and status events sent from your buddy."
"It is a 3-inches tall figurine connected to the computer using a USB cable. Specially designed in tiny size, so that it does not consume much space while you are at work. It is perfect to put on top of your monitor too." (i-Buddy Official Web Site)
Alas, I-Buddy works only with Windows Live Messenger and Firebox.com is currently out of stock, accepting only advanced orders. It is probably for the best; somehow he may not be ready for the reference desk.
Image copyright Firebox.com
Tags: I-Buddy, School Library Journal, IM