LG and Sony may have nabbed the bulk of the headlines at CES on Thursday, but it’s Alexa that dominated the showroom floor. Amazon’s virtual assistant has seemingly made its way into every facet of home automation and entertainment, from Lenovo’s forthcoming Smart Assistant to Vobot’s smart timepiece, quickly becoming the go-to platform for anyone who is looking to bring voice-activated functionality to their product.
Until this year, however, Alexa has merely been a voice without a face. China-based Ubtech Robotics is looking to change that with the Lynx, a video-enabled robot that is designed to look as adorable on the dance floor as your kitchen counter.
“Lynx combines unprecedented intelligence and robotics into one consumer-friendly platform,” said John Rhee, general manager of Ubtech’s North American division. “Integrating with Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service is a perfect match for Lynx’s unparalleled facial, image, and voice recognition, emotion detection, and lifelike robotic movement, seamlessly woven together for a truly humanlike experience.”
The device’s Alexa integration translates into a wide range of functionality, all of which is accessible via a string of simple voice commands. The in-home companion currently works with Amazon Music, Spotify, and a host of other streaming services, with more on the way. It can also help you schedule events and set up reminders, as well as read and dictate emails without the use of your computer. And if you’re looking to add some levity to your morning routine, you can program Lynx to sing, dance, or instruct you on your favorite yoga pose. Downward-facing dog, anyone?
The Alexa integration is only one aspect of Lynx’s toolset, however. As previously mentioned, the robot is imbued with facial and image recognition, which allows it to greet you and react based on what is directly in front of it. A built-in video camera also allows you to capture photos and live-stream video, meaning you can easily keep a watchful eye on your pets — or unsuspecting family members — when you’re away.
Other details remain scarce, though you can expect the robot to carry out other basic tasks that have become synonymous with Alexa. Lynx can provide you with weather reports, for instance, or inform you of upcoming showings of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It can even handle your at-home shopping requests, provided you stick with one of Amazon’s bedrock services. Now, if only it could add content to our Netflix queue.
Lynx will launch sometime in the second quarter of 2017 at an undisclosed price point.