Remember that cool little device we told you about that would plug into your wall socket and promise to always keep an ear open for anything you need? It was called The Ubi, or short for The Ubiquitous Computer, and you can ask it to do things like search the web, call your mom, and send a short email to anyone you’d like (plus lots more through open-sourced extensibility).
Its Kickstarter campaign caught our eyes pretty quickly back when it was first announced. Since then, funding has been fulfilled and has actually gotten the company six times the original goal to get this neat idea into motion.
Kickstarter backers are first in line to get their hands on the device, of course, but if you missed out on the funding period now’s your chance to stake your claim to your very own Ubi. The company has announced it is now accepting general pre-sales at its website for anyone who is interested in getting one once it launches (as early as April 2013 if things go according to plan).
Normally the Ubi would cost $270 for one, but you can get locked into a special pre-sale price of $220 if you order one in time. There are also multi-unit packages for sale, and the more you buy the more you save.
The Ubi has met the project’s only stretch goal on Kickstarter since we first talked about it so there are some new goods that weren’t originally promised. You can read more about what it can do in our original post, but here’s what’s new:
- Change the trigger name from “Ubi” to something else… like “Jarvis”, “Hal”, “Computer”, “Irma”, or anything else
- Eliminate the pauses in talking to the Ubi… you can say, “Ubi, what’s the weather tomorrow” without any pause between “Ubi” and the rest of your request
- Identify who is speaking to the Ubi and setup permissions accordingly (e.g. if you say, “Ubi, check my email” it will check your email and if someone else who’s setup on the Ubi says the same thing, it will check their email)
The device will come with some pre-programmed functionality, but this open-sourced box is wide open for developers to tap into Ubi’s innards as deeply as they’d like. We’re certainly excited to see the company making strong progress and we can’t wait to see these begin to ship early next year.
Head to theubi.com to pre-order yours, and be sure to read up on everything it can do — we promise you won’t leave without at least a slight urge to buy one. Read on for full press details.
Ubi – The Ubiquitous Computer – officially available for pre-order on web
TORONTO, Ontario (November 1, 2012) – Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation is happy to announce the availability of pre-orders of the Ubi – a voice controlled computer that plugs into a standard power outlet and connects to the Internet via a household or office wifi connection. The Ubi is meant to usher in the era of “ubiquitous computing” – when humans will be able to interact with computers without requiring the use of screens or handheld input devices. Early uses of the Ubi include Internet search, email, speakerphone, intercom, and home automation and monitoring.
The Ubi 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, a microphone, and bright multi-colored LED indicator lights. Those using the Ubi will be able to program and control it remotely and with their iOS and Android devices. The Ubi is planned to ship with Android OS.
Those wishing to pre-order the Ubi are encouraged to visit www.theubi.com. The Ubi is planned to ship in April 2013. Single Ubis are available at a pre-order price of $219 and $1399 for a ten-pack of Ubis. Once the Ubi becomes available for shipment, the regular price of a single Ubi will be $269.
The Ubi team consists of developers with backgrounds in engineering and computer science. Their cumulative experience includes working on tele-operation, robotics, haptics, voice recognition and unmanned vehicle projects. Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation is a privately-held Canadian company that develops ubiquitous computing technology.
Those interested in learning more about the Ubi can contact Mahyar Fotoohi, Chairman of UCIC, by email at[email protected].