Voice-Activated, Always-On Mini Computer is Like Siri for Your Home

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Add artificial intelligence to your home or office with Ubi, a little black box that plugs into any wall outlet and is capable of taking voice commands.

Add artificial intelligence to your home or office with Ubi, a little black box that plugs into any wall outlet and is capable of taking voice commands.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, we may soon be able to add Siri-like functionality to our own physical spaces with a little tiny device with a big potential impact.

Ubi, short for ubiquitous computer, is a hands-free, always-on, mini computer running Android with voice recognition, and it can not only receive verbal commands, but can also access the web via a wifi connection, and communicate back to you using speech or lights. Ubi can also accommodate Bluetooth connections to both Android and iPhone platforms, as well as direct connections to USB drives, speakers, and more.

Possible uses include web searches via voice command, having your RSS feeds read to you, as a voice memo/calendar/alarm unit, as an intercom system or baby monitor, as a speakerphone, home climate control, and more.

The device comes with integrated light, air pressure, temperature, and humidity sensors, and can be used to communicate with thousands of different devices using Bluetooth, wifi, or RF connections. The device is said to be ‘open’, allowing developers to extend the platform with other apps or hardware, which may usher in a whole new era of home automation, in the vein of SmartThings.

Ubi ships in early 2013, with a pre-order price of $219.