IRIS 9000: 2012 - ThinkGeek
This project came from Apple's Siri announcement in the early spring of 2012. Her disembodied voice was reminiscent of the computer, HAL from the 2001 A Space Odyssey. The product is meant to be a speaker phone/dock for the iPhone 4s which would allow you to interact with Siri without holding your phone, but I really just see it as a light & sound desktop HAL 9000 sculpt. The remote would answer calls, summon Siri, & control volume. This started as what we call a 'Ninja Product' where we create a prototype & launch it well before production has started. I had previously done a bunch of research on the HAL 9000 faceplate for another product that never took off (fridge magnet) so it was easy for me to whip up a quick prototype. The body was a big block of wood which I drilled various cavities into to fit speakers, lights, & batteries. The metal bezels are all made from aluminum & I turned the camera surround on my mini-lathe. The speaker grill was re-purposed from a guitar shirt speaker box, the camera pocket was the mouthpiece from a bluetooth retro handset that I milled down on the lathe, and the camera dome was part of a 3" plastic xmas ball. I actually installed a bright red LED and speaker from a Bliptronic 5000 with an audio-in jack to make it basically a finished product before I sent it off to photography. We had a lot of trouble figuring out how to make the phone dock - if you use the standard 20 pin iPod connector you need to pay Apple a big royalty. In the end we made the dock a pass-through for the regular charging cable that comes with every phone and the dock can be easily removed if you just want to use a standard iPhone dock or no dock at all.
IRIS 9000 voice control module for iPhone & Siri - $59.99