If you’ve ever wanted a phone that also doubles as an 8-inch tall robotic personal assistant, 2016 just might be your year if you live in Japan.
It had to come from Japan
This is by no means a slight on a country that has been on the forefront of both electronics and robotics for decades. Rather, it is a nod to a country that thinks outside of the box, a cultural box that was already a bit different to begin the day.
RoBoHon is a fine crossover between Jibo and “Pepper.” Jibo is a simple personal robot being developed by a company based in Cambridge, MA, that is still under development. “Pepper” made by SoftBank, stands about 40 inches tall and has a real robot look to her. SoftBank’s “Pepper” stands nearly 4-feet tall and despite its $1,595 up front price tag plus a monthly subscription of $120, which covers maintenance and updates, sold in the thousands in less than a minute when “she” was introduced this June.
OK, crossover may be a bit strong but RoBoHan has the human appearance of “Pepper” with a considerably lesser stature and surprising functionality.
What does the RoBoHon do?
Powered by a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz and support for 3G LTE and Wi-Fi, RoBoHan can dance, walk, sit up, raise its arms and generally act all sorts of cute while working as your personal assistant. The RoBoHon weighs just under a pound and will be sold with a pouch to carry it around like an infant if you so desire. On the backside, seemingly as a nod to robot aesthetics, it has a 2-inch touchscreen QVGA display with a 320 x 240 pixel resolution that makes it the aforementioned personal assistant.
What would a day look like with a RoBoHon, firstly it can wake you up as only an adorable robot can. Early morning phone calls, RoBoHon will help you sort those out with its voice recognition. The RoBoHon also takes dictation for memos as well as messages you would like it to send. Its camera has facial recognition software and can act as your photographer. With a built in projector, it can also help you see these pictures at it projects them to walls or tables.
RoBoHon, as a phone, will certainly allow you to make calls and will also help you send emails as it follows you around the kitchen.
“RoBoHon is a phone you have never seen before. A phone in human shape. A phone that you feel like talking to. A phone that also wants to know you. To hear what you hear, To see what you see, To share the same dreams. That is little RoBoHon’s big dream,” says Sharp.
No pricing information was given today, and we don’t, unfortunately, see it being sold outside of Japan if Sharp’s track record means anything.