As for the 18th of November 2017, you will be able to purchase a new family member. At least if you can spare 1300$ and lives in Japan. The product is a robotic assistant called Xperia Hello and is one of Sony’s latest releases. Watching the video below, one can tell that it kind of reminds of something you have seen in a Star Wars movie.
The Xperia Hello is intended to give the perception of a real family member. It recognizes the whole family and is designed to move, talk and even show expressions such as happiness, loneliness and excitement. This due to some lights at the top of the “body” that are supposed to work function as eyes. And yes – of course it can dance.
What goes for the features, the robot will respond to voice, gestures and facial expressions. It also takes photos, makes Skype video calls, provides reminders, news and information regarding weather and traffic. The feature that seems most interesting is the fact that it can provide status of other family members, both inside and outside the house. For instance, when parents are away from home, the assistant can give them live updates of what the kids are up to. Kind of surrealistic, according to me.
Thinking a little bit out of the box, this product can be seen as both good and bad. As for the positive aspects, it will provide you with information about your home and family even though you are far away. This indeed might lead to the perception of being calm to some people. In addition, through a negative perspective, this little fellow will most certainly have the potential to interfere with the personal integrity. Being home alone, having time of your own, is nowadays history. This, of course, goes both good and bad, since it for example would be able to detect and perhaps prevent any cheating husband or wife from having affairs in the family home.
Another interesting thing is that most of the features that it offers is already available in your smartphones, which makes me wonder if this product really satisfies a customer needs enough. According to me, the main difference is in fact that it has it’s own torso and never leaves the home. However it is seen as a cool product, but I wonder if it is cool for longer than the first week of usage. I think that it has to include some additional feature for being attractive enough, especially since 1300$ is an amount that not every family can afford for something that somehow still can be defined as a toy. I mean, the least you could expect from a robotic assistant is that it could cook your dinner.
With this in mind, one can draw the conclusion that the success of this product might absent. The potential market for such a product is probably not big enough. The advantages it brings to the normal daily life is just too similar to what is already offered via smartphones. Nevertheless I can’t deny it – I for sure want to have it dancing on my kitchen table when (or if?) it enters the European market.
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