After more than two years of closed beta testing, Ubi, the voice-controlled home computer system for your home, is finally ready for general release.
If you didn’t happen to catch the device during its hugely-successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, the device is a lot like HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Armed with a slew of different sensors and an Internet-connected brain, it’s able to detect when you’re in a given room, and can also understand spoken commands.
It’s certainly not the first voice-activated home control system to hit the market, but unlike products that run through Siri or Google Now, Ubi doesn’t always rely on your smartphone. It’s a standalone device that plugs directly into your wall, so you don’t need to have your phone handy to issue commands. That said, the creators did build voice control into the accompanying smartphone app as well, so it’s still possible to control stuff via voice when you’re out and about, or simply in a different room.
On top of that, over the past couple years, the company behind Ubi has also established partnerships with some of the biggest players in the smart home game — including Smart Things and Belkin Wemo. So, if you happen to have the right hardware in your home already, you should be able to do things like adjust your thermostat, turn on your lights, or even lock your doors using nothing but voice commands.
Unfortunately, all these nifty features and cross-compatibility don’t come cheap. You’ll need to shell out $299 for each Ubi module, which adds up quickly if you want the device in multiple rooms. Stay tuned for our review — we’ll let you know if it’s actually worth such a hefty price tag.
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