This week during the CES 2017 convention in Las Vegas, Internet of Things device maker SmartBeings showcased its interactive WooHoo AI-powered Smart Home Hub device. It packs a 360-degree rotating 13MP camera, a built-in 7-inch touchscreen, a temperature sensor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, and more. It’s nearly twice as tall as the latest iPhone with the rotating camera on top moving around like a robotic eye.
WooHoo appears to be based on a proprietary AI solution rather than depending on Amazon Alexa or Google Now. It connects to other Internet of Things devices in the home, enabling owners to ask WooHoo to set the current temperature, turn the lights off, make a call, schedule an appointment, turn on the house alarm, and more. Even more, WooHoo supports facial and voice recognition so the unit knows who is giving the command.
According to the company, WooHoo can be used with Echo and Nest-based devices along with “hundreds” of others. On the connectivity front, it packs Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, support for the Zigbee and Zwave protocols, and 4G LTE capabilities, making what the company calls the “world’s first cloud-based platform” for the Smart Home. This is definitely not another Amazon Echo clone.
WooHoo is based on Android although that’s not apparent on the screen. With a simple glance, owners can see what’s going on in the home, what the connected network of Internet of Things devices are doing, and even see who is actually inside. Users can also download additional apps onto the device from this screen from a dedicated WooHoo marketplace.
But WooHoo isn’t just an Internet of Things controller. Users can ask WooHoo to play music, start a video conference with friends and family, set reminders, tell a joke, book an Uber ride, search for a recipe, and so on. It also keeps users safe at night using built-in infrared night vision and motion detection. It’s a friend by day and a guardian at night for both home-based customers and businesses.
Here are the hardware specs:
|Camera:||13MP (scales up to 55MP)|
|Display resolution:||1280 x 800|
|Processor:||Snapdragon 805 (4x Krait 450 cores)|
|Processor speed:||Up to 2.7GHz|
|Audio:||Patent-pending Spatial Sound System|
|Connectivity:||Dual-band Wi-Fi (speed unknown)
|Ports:||1x SD card reader (up to 32GB)
|Other features:||Wireless charging
Long-lasting battery with LED power indicators
Initial setup takes 60 seconds
Customer support via on-device live video
Fits anywhere in the home or office
Controllable via a smartphone app
Finally, SmartBeings backs WooHoo with three service plans. The first one is free that offers basic video support only. The second Smart-Home subscription costs $9 per month and provides 32GB of cloud storage, live technical support, and additional features like remote access and configuration from a web browser outside the home, purchase and expense tracking, local weather reports, and more. The Smart-Business plan costs $19 per month providing 128GB of cloud storage, popular business applications and trackers, and other business-focused goodies.
Customers can pre-order WooHoo now for a mere $49 through the company’s Kickstarter project, which is still alive and kicking even though it has already exceeded the company’s $30,000 goal with 28 days still to go. The $49 pledge coughs up one WooHoo device and the Smart-Home subscription for 12 months. Pledge $98 or more and get two units and the 12 months of Smart-Home service, or grab the 5-pack with a 12-month subscription for $245 or more.
The estimated ship date appears to be May 2017.
- Google Nest Hub review: A refreshing take on the smart display
- The best smart garage door openers
- The best smart locks of CES 2020: Lockly, August, Kwikset, and more
- Google Nest Hub Max review: The definitive smart display
- Startup Camect is on track to deliver a private, unified smart camera hub