The Amazon Echo doesn’t have it, nor does the Google Home. But the LG Hub Robot boasts a screen. The voice-activated assistant, on display at CES 2017, is a little robot that has blinking eyes and changes its face based on what program is running. It’s actually quite cute, and sort of looks a bit like an electronic Russian nesting doll.
The Hub actually uses Alexa for its voice activation. The speaker can play your music or read your kids a bedtime story, according to LG. The screen adds another dimension, however. If you ask it to look up a recipe, you could also follow along on the screen and maybe even watch a video to help you perfect an unfamiliar technique.
The Hub will also have baby bots for you to spread around your house. It functions as a smart-home hub that’s specifically designed to work with LG home appliances. SmartThinQ is LG’s smart technology, which can be found in ranges, fridges, laundry machines, and so on. The fact that it’s using Amazon’s technology could suggest LG is open to pairing with other manufacturers — a must if the Hub is truly going to rule your smart home.
LG wasn’t giving away a ton of details about the forthcoming device, but it did suggest this bot will actually be able to recognize who’s speaking. That would be quite a leap forward, as Echoes and Dots currently treat all users the same, meaning you have to tell the assistant who you are if you want to switch between profiles.
That wasn’t the only robot LG had on display. There was a device that scans boarding passes at airports, so you won’t have to stare at giant boards for your gate information. LG also has an upcoming robotic lawn mower. The details about pricing and availability of all these robots are not available, but the airport version will show up in Seoul’s Incheon airport first.