It seems as though the public has been dreaming of owning robots for quite some time. After generations grew up with Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons, R2-D2 and C3PO, Rocky Balboa’s memorable robotic gift from Paulie and later the beloved Wall-E, it goes without saying that we’ve grown up with the notion. With digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Amazon Echo now readily available to provide directions, send emails and play music, our childhood dreams are gradually becoming a reality. However, even with all the great leaps in technological progress, we have yet to reach the state where robots operate as our companions.
Jibo wishes to change that. As both the company name and the robot’s moniker, the Jibo project began as an Indie GoGo startup. Ultimately, it has become the ‘#1 Most Successful Technology Campaign on Indiegogo in Summer 2014.’ In fact, it raised an astounding $3.7 million for the “World’s First Social Robot for the Home” which was 2,288% above their goal. Since then, the company has gone on to raise another $38.6 million in funding with a recent round of Series B sealing up and undisclosed amount just last week.
Jibo clearly aims to be a part of your family. With a menagerie of rad features, owners gain two high res cameras for tracking faces, capturing video, immersive video calling and recognition of household members. In addition, each robot swivels toward the sound of your voice upon addressing it so as to seem as though it’s hanging on every word. The Jibo can even interact with you and remind you of tasks or appointments, use sound effects, graphics and physical movements, offer fun and responsive “storytelling experiences.”
Priced at $749, some people are asking ‘Is that really enough?’ Given what’s already on the market, most shoppers are looking for much more than simple reminders and video calls. As of now, the vast majority of Jibo’s momentum has come from what the brand claims they will be able to do. The list of future features include:
Jibo for security, emergency alerts, and monitoring
•Jibo as a part of the smart home, integrating with other devices
•Jibo in the role of concierge or assistant
•Jibo playing a helping hand with internet searches
•Jibo as a part of one’s music scene
•Jibo helping in the kitchen for cooking and handling shopping lists
•Jibo in the role of serving up reminders
•Jibo participating in one’s social media interactions
•Jibo being a part of family education and learning
•Jibo sharing weather, news and sports updates
•Jibo being central to ones calendar and scheduling activities
•Jibo helping with reservations
•Jibo serving up games
•Jibo as a motivational coach
•Jibo helping with watching pets
•Jibo as a part of helping aging parents or loved ones
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