“The table lamp-sized device is equipped with a camera and facial recognition technology allowing it to personally identify the different members of a household…”
A Boston-based tech company is aiming to shake up the Alexa- and Google-dominated smart speaker market. Called Jibo, the company’s eponymous offering was launched last October, and has now been upgraded with new capabilities.
The key differentiator between Jibo and rivals like the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices may be its biometric capability. The table lamp-sized device is equipped with a camera and facial recognition technology allowing it to personally identify the different members of a household, and tailor its interactions to those users. And Jibo is aimed at differentiating itself with those interactions, too, with the device designed to recite a ‘Personal Report’ each morning about the weather, traffic, appointments via Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, and headlines based on a given user’s particular interests.
Other capabilities that have been added to Jibo since its initial launch include iHeartRadio streaming, yoga instruction, Philips Hue integration, interactive games including one that lets users steer a spaceship with their gestures, and support for If This Then That integrations to help connect Jibo to other smart devices.
Of course, these days the key to any smart home device’s success appears to lie in artificial intelligence and its capacity to support user interaction. It isn’t yet clear how Jibo stacks up against heavyweights like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, but if users find talking with the device highly intuitive, Jibo may just be able to make a name for itself in the still-emerging smart home market.