Jibo: Family Robot
The robot can capture photos and videos, take video calls on its orb-like 'face' and notify you of emails and messages. However, what really sets Jibo apart is its human-like interface, which could be revolutionary if it works as well as advertised.
Jibo Inc., the US tech firm behind the product, is led by Cynthia Breazeal, a professor at MIT Media Lab in the US who has invented several products that aim to "humanise technology". She sees Jibo as a "helpful partner, not a useful tool".
Interaction with Jibo is purely conversational and visual: the robot uses high-definition cameras to track, recognise and respond animatedly to faces. It also uses voice-recognition technology to understand commands, which it responds to with artificial speech and a visual display.
It may be difficult for Jibo to follow the subtleties of human speech and interaction, but the company behind it claims the robot's cloud-based advanced artificial intelligence coding will 'learn' your voice and preferences over time to make interaction more natural.
Jibo's home applications might include helping children with their homework, being a personal assistant or providing companionship for the elderly. Jibo can currently interface with smartphones and computers, but once hooked up to a wider network of smart devices in the Internet of Things (IoT), Jibo could serve as a human-like interface with the entire home.
Jibo is due to hit the market in early 2016. The consumer version can be pre-ordered for $499.