Most Android gizmos are tablets or smartphones with palm-sized, resplendent screens and god-knows-how-many cored processors.
However, Ubi, a voice-activated, screen-less and Android powered device is one such device which has transcended the barrier of conventionalism and emanated from waters of innovation.
Ubi is another product which has kick-offed by grabbing some cash from the Kickstarter campaign. Well, not merely just cash, but eyeballs as well. Reportedly, they have well surpassed their $36,000 goal and are going strong on finances.
Ubi stands for Ubiquitous computing, which means omniscient computing. The name perfectly annotates what Ubi does. The idea behind developing Ubi was to take advantage of Android’s voice-powered interface to develop an inexpensive home computer which would allow users to do things they like, just by talking.
You just have to plug device into a wall-jack (make sure you choose a place where you can keep in on all day long) and connect it our Wi-Fi network. That’s it. You can talk to her and make her do anything you like. (Okay, not anything!)
Ubi comes with an eye-catching, resplendent indicator light on its rear which changes on events like weather and stock-prices. Ubi can be easily paired up to work with your home theatre system or any other device on your Wi-Fi network.
Ubi would come powered by the latest version of Android- Jellybeans 4.1. You can use Ubi’s voice-control features to set alarms, voice memos, listen to music or podcasts online, make calls or even surf Internet. We know it doesn’t have a screen, but well, it would read it out for you. Other applications which could be embedded into this adroit Android device could be intercom system, baby monitor system, noise pollution monitor (!!) and temperature control monitor.
The hardware configurations are decent too. Ubi comes powered with an 800 MHz Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor, 1GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an RF transceiver, mic and speakers, and light, humidity, temperature, and air pressure sensors. Ubi would also support USB connectivity, which means you can also plug-in your external storage.
Ubi just measures 4″ x 4″ x 1.1″, which means it can be easily plugged onto any wall-socket, anywhere in your home.
Though the concept is extremely sly and innovative, the ‘screen-less’ feature still hurts me. Though Google’s Voice control features are sumptuous, how can it describe a picture, map or video which the search results might throw up? I think Ubi developers might have just missed the trick, by not including the most vital component when it comes to Android devices (or any devices) – the display.
However, Ubi still would turn out to be a boon to those who have visual, hearing or mobility impairments.
Ubi team hopes to deliver the first beta version by January 2013 and would start shipping devices from February onwards. If you choose, you can reserve you gig for $189 from the Kickstarter page.
P.S: So, post January, if someone mocks you with “Who are you talking to, the Wall?” You can turn back and say “Yes” with a Duchenne smile.
Catch Ubi in action, here: