Yeah, I understand it may be seen as something similar to Ubi or ivee, due to the way we have pitched the project, but it tastes completely different.
We are about on creating an intelligent assistant that is the face of your home. From out point of view this is not trivial at all. We, as humans, look into our counterpart’s eyes when we talk, that is the basis of empathy.
Chris, you are right, the state of the art on speech recognition is not as good as as we should expect. And in fact it is not only a matter on speech recognition, it is also about Natural Language Processing (NLP), sound sourcing, sound separation, reasoning based on context… All this stuff are new fields of what 60 years ago was called Artificial Intelligence.
And that is what Fiona is about. We have realized that each of these fields is quite hard and researching is ongoing. So what we have been developing for the last two years is a platform (www.sparkingtogether.com) where companies and universities are offering their work so the platform interconects this stuff to make some kind of intelligence with some kind of abilities.
We cannot grant speech recognition is going to be perfect right now, nobody can. But we are on the race to create true artificial intelligence, and we believe this should be done in a joint effort of universities, companies and people. Our platform serves as an accelerator to transfer research to the market. So our attempt is to give a device that could be updated to state of the art in Human-Machine Interaction.
And it is true. It is not a finished product. That is the reason why we are in Kickstarter and not in Walmart!