Marchelle Abrahams lists three little smart home helpers you'll need in your life.
Smart home robots, or robot butlers, have fast become reality and could very soon be doing your chores, raising your children and cooking your dinner. Okay, this might be a stretch, but imagine the possibilities if this was the case? No more rushing home to get supper ready!
Before you go getting ideas of i, Robot or Westworld in your head, we’re still decades away from humanoid super nannies who can feel and hold a decent conversation with you.
Should you be in the market for a high-tech assistant, we’ve listed our top 3 smart home helpers and how much they’ll set you back.
Say hi, Olly
Billed as a robot with personality, Olly made its debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Olly is a smart home hub that uses machine learning to evolve as you speak to it - almost like a parrot. Here’s where it gets interesting: It is also able to learn and identify family members and tailor itself to each of their commands.
For instance, it picks up on your habits and reinforces your daily routines.
It’s unclear when Olly will hit the shelves and manufacturer Emotech hasn’t released a specific release date, but they did say it will appear later in 2017.
Visit the official website for further updates: www.heyolly.com
Little cute helper
Asus’s Zenbo costs about the same as a high-end smartphone, but it obviously does what a smartphone can’t, like: control the gadgets in your home, keep an eye on elderly people and alert carers in case of accidents.
Zenbo can also move around by using cameras to keep it from bumping into walls. A touchscreen face allows it to emote, while speakers and microphones lets it respond to voice commands and even chat to you.
Price: $599 (about R8 000)
Amazon’s Echo has been an unlikely hit in the US and has spawned other pretenders to the smart home throne. Less robot, more Internet Of Things - it’s a complete smart home unit. Like any other smart home assistant, Echo will play music, control various things around the home like your lights and washing machine. But what sets it apart is that it’s powered by Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant.
The Guardian’s Samuel Gibbs described it like a turbo-charged Siri for the home or a Star Trek-style “Hello, computer” when previewing it for British consumption.
Website: www.amazon.com or bidorbuy.co.za
Price: R3 500