Jibo: Your New Robot Butler
The tech world is abuzz right now talking about the “Internet of Things” or as it’s also known, the connected home. The idea is that more and more of the items that we interact with on a daily basis are now enabled with wifi, bluetooth or some other means of connection to the internet. With that connectivity comes a vast sea of possibilities. I recently wrote about Google’s recent acquisition of Nest and how their home thermostat is vying to be the platform that ties everything together.
There is, however, one aspect that hasn’t been given much thought until now. As humans, the way we interact with our connected devices is going to be essential for a connected world to be successful. Interface is crucial to making this technology easy to use and understand. That’s the idea behind Jibo. The robot from the eponymous company doesn’t “do” anything. It’s purpose is to provide a human-friendly interface for the rest of the connected items in our life. The current prototype is still limited, but you can see in the below video that the vision for Jibo is to provide truly seamless voice command with integrated technology from your phone, thermostat, appliances and any other device that can be connected to the internet.
The demand for a Jibo-like product is very real. The company posted this video on their Indiegogo fundraising page with a target goal of $100K. As of today’s post they have already raised north of $1M with 25 days left on the campaign. Now we must wait to see if Jibo can fulfill the promise of it’s vision. It won’t be easy. Human/Computer interaction has proven to be one of the toughest nuts to crack. However, if it’s done well then it could be the key to unlocking a fully digital world.