We’re beginning to see a trend here at CES. A ton of companies are either injecting their tech with a dose of Alexa or building their own Amazon Echo competitors from scratch. SmartBeings falls into the later category, but its WooHoo device packs a lot more punch than the online retailer’s smart speaker. WooHoo can do some of the things Echo handles, but it’s also equipped with both facial and voice recognition, Android-powered software and a 7-inch touchscreen. Oh yeah, and it’s a full-on IoT hub for all your smart home tech.
If you can imagine a version of Echo with a rotating camera that helps complete tasks when a specific person walks in a room, you’ll get the idea here. Yes, it also works as a regular old speaker too. That camera also adds a layer of security so you can see when someone enters a room. That’s all great, but SmartBeings’ cloud-based software is perhaps a bigger selling point here. It requires a monthly subscription, but you get access to to software that allows you to manage all of that connected home tech with the ability to keep an eye on your kids or turn on music when you (and only you) enter a room. It also offers the help of AI that learns your habits in order to become more helpful.
Why the name WooHoo? That’s the keyword to activate the device much like "OK, Google" or "Alexa" alerts the virtual assistants for Google and Amazon’s smart speakers. Final retail pricing is still in the works, but if you pre-order now, the gadget will only cost you $49 with five color options. The subscription will set you back an additional $9 a month for the home plan and $19 for the business option. SmartBeings plans to start shipping WooHoo in late summer.
Mona Lalwani contributed to this report.
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https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/03/smartbeings-woohoo-iot-hub-echo/ via http://www.engadget.com #CIO, #Technology