The Ubi is a WiFi-connected, voice-operated computer that plugs into a power outlet and makes the environment around it Internet enabled. Reminiscent of voice controlled computers depicted in science fiction, early uses of the Ubi include Internet search, messaging, and communications without the use of hands or screens. The Ubi also includes sensors that allow for remote monitoring of the environment around it.
Project Ubi Odyssey will allow early adopters of technology to get access to the Ubi, develop connectivity with home automation and Internet services, and create novel human computer interactions. Those interested can register for the program at www.theubi.com and selected candidates will be invited to participate in the program. The Beta Ubi cost is $299. The program is currently limited to 5,000 participants and to residents of the United States.
The Ubi relies on powerful server technology that processes natural language to infer requests from the user and then pulls data from various Internet sources. Users can easily build voice-driven interactions and connect devices and services through the Ubi Portal. The device is equipped with temperature, humidity, air pressure and ambient light sensors to provide feedback on the environment around it. Also onboard the Ubi are stereo speakers, two microphones, and bright multi-colored LED indicator lights.
Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation CEO Leor Grebler told me the device will also be able to sense devices that are openly connected to the Internet (eventually, the Nest “learning” thermostat and smart smoke/CO2 alarms), “but we’re not controlling devices outright yet. We will add a way to talk to devices/Internet services as well as for them to talk back to the user.”
Here are the impressive specs: Android OS 4.1, 1.6 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 802.11 b/n/g Wifi Enabled (WPA and WPA2 encryption), stereo speakers and dual microphones, Bluetooth-capable, ambient light sensor, cloud-based speech recognition (Google/Android libraries), and natural language understanding.
And you can program its user interface on a computer, or verbally on the Ubi, Grebler said. “We’re slowly releasing apps on portal.theubi.com,” he said. “We have the first blossoms of an API that will essentially allow any Internet service, such as email, calendar, Twitter, Facebook, etc. ) to have its own voice and be interactive through the Ubi.”
You can register for the program at www.theubi.com and selected candidates will be invited to participate in the program. The Beta Ubi cost is $299. The program is currently limited to 5,000 participants and to U.S. residents.