Digital Lifestyle

Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

The age of robotic butlers and Jetson's-style automation is yet to be delivered, but the team behind Jibo believes it has a more relevant, usable alternative. A robot that integrates into the family, as well as one which could spawn a family of its own, Jibo aims to humanize domestic robotics but without dropping us into an Uncanny Valley of creepy pseudo-skin. I caught up with company founder and MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to find out how the Jibo you see today is the gateway to a life peppered with electronic companions.

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Adopt a robot? Jibo aims to be part of the family

Adopt a robot? Jibo aims to be part of the family

Domestic robots have been attempted before, but a new company, Jibo, believes it has what it takes to deliver something more autonomous than a remote-control toy, but less complex and more affordable than something like ASIMO. Standing 11 inches high, the WiFi-connected robot can automatically snap family photos or video, work as a personal assistant with voice controlled messages and reminders, and read stories to kids.

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It’s time for a new breed of Notifications

It’s time for a new breed of Notifications

The digital world is hungry for your eyeballs, and the tools we have to manage and mitigate those potential distractions and filter through the most valuable information are looking increasingly inadequate. How many times has your smartphone buzzed or beeped in your pocket in the last five minutes? The demands on our attention are only going to get more frequent, and it’s time for a new breed of notification to address that.

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The Daily Show skewers Google Glass

The Daily Show skewers Google Glass

Glass has a perception problem, and a new segment on The Daily Show skewering the wearable probably isn't going to help any on that front. The divisive head-worn computer came in for some tough treatment from the comedy news show's Jason Jones, who not only questioned whether the spate of anti-Glass sentiment some have experienced over the past year actually counts as geek bullying, but tried to make his own version.

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Vessyl smart cup tracks coffee and more for IoT hydration

Vessyl smart cup tracks coffee and more for IoT hydration

Vessyl thinks you have a drinking problem, and it's convinced a $200 smart cup is the answer. Promising to bring the Internet of Things to something as old-school as how we drink, the Yves Behar-designed cup uses a proprietary sensor which can apparently identify what liquid is inside - even down to recognizing specific brands, like a Starbucks latte or a Heineken lager.

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Vivint Sky hands-on: The Smart Home starts learning

Vivint Sky hands-on: The Smart Home starts learning

Upstarts like Apple may be plowing into the smart home segment, but security and automation stalwart Vivint isn’t taking that lying down, launching a new system called Vivint Sky. Centered around a new, 7-inch color touchscreen and a cloud system of Vivint’s own creation, Vivint Sky promises not only centralized control in the home and remote smartphone apps, but learning algorithms that automatically pick up on the users’ own patterns.

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Blurred Lines: Melding Mac and iOS into one Apple life

Blurred Lines: Melding Mac and iOS into one Apple life

There’s more to breaking down the barriers between desktop and mobile than making the UIs on an iPhone and a MacBook look alike, and Apple used its WWDC 2014 opening keynote to hint at how. Continuity came up several times during the presentation, on both the OS X and the iOS sides, explaining how later this year our Macs and iPhones will work together to transfer tasks as you move between them. Yet the potential for Continuity goes far further than just giving you a bigger keyboard to finish your email on.

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