Controlling your home with your voice


(Adele Robots) #1

Hi guys,

We are about to launch a new project in Kickstarter about the concept of a Virtual Home Assistant. It is further explained in the project page. Here is the preview:

We will love to integrate this new control system with Smart Things at first, and we would love to have your support.

Please, share your thoughts with us, we will appreaciate your feedback.

Blue skies,

Adele Team


(Adele Robots) #2

We have finally launched the project:

Looking forward to hear from you!

Best,

Adele Team


(Chrisb) #3

This looks to be very similar to Ubi, another Kickstarter project from earlier. Though this has a graphic content to it that ubi doesn’t.

My biggest concern with backing something like this is the question of where voice recognition is at as a technology, particularly in an environment like a busy home. I know on my Android when I ask my phone to call a number it often comes back asking me which person or which location (Home, mobile, etc) I wanted, and this is in a car with the radio off and no one talking.

Is voice recognition technology to the point that it could hear and understand my voice when the TV might be on in the other room or my wife is talking on the phone near me or the dog starts barking halfway through my instructions, or the kids starting yelling at each other in the basement? I tend to think it isn’t there yet, which is why I’m reluctant to back something like this project… yet.

Now, maybe I’ll be proven wrong and then you can bet I’ll be a customer later, but right now I’m not willing to put up my cash on a promise. In this area I want to see the finished product first.


(Cory S) #4

I’m with you Chris. I’m watching Ubi very closely. I love the concept, but have real doubts on how practical it will be.


(Adele Robots) #5

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! :slight_smile:

Best,

Tino


(Gray) #6

This looks somewhat like Ubi, but to me the idea looks more like Ivee:

Whereas Ubi seems to envision a paradigm of always-on computing devices throughout the household, Ivee and Fiona start from something more conventional, like an alarm clock or “personal assistant.” This would probably be easier to sell to non-techies, but I think in the not-too-distant future we’ll be wondering how we lived in houses that didn’t have ubiquitous computing devices throughout.

And I have to say, if I were going to get a voice-operated personal assistant device, I would definitely pick the Ivee over Fiona. The former appears to come from a more credible company, and has far fewer meaningless buzzwords in its description. Not to mention that it uses the display to present actual information, not a SecondLife avatar.


(Adele Robots) #7

Hi Gray,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The discussion about distributed computing or centric computing has been debated for the last few decades, and at some times distributed computing won over centric, and other times the other way arround. Nowdays, cloud computing is winning the hand.

Creating true artificial intelligence, as we pretend to do with Fiona, is a large computing resources consumer. And although we are a small company, some research groups from MIT, National University of Athenas, Univesity of Keio, Clemson University and some coporations as Nuance, Ivona, or even Accenture, are backing our approach.

The project we have launched in Kickstarter is an exercise of democratizing this artificial intelligence. Allowing anyone to have access, from their homes, to this artificial intelligence.

The reason we use avatars is because it is more natural for humans to interact with characters than with actual information. I presume you talk everyday to a clerk and he/she does not show actual information in his/her face. This device is a simplification of other we are using as you can see in this video:

I am sorry for the meaningless buzzwords, but we are not english-native speakers, and it is quite hard for to explain such a difficult concept as Fiona is for non-techies.

Best,

Tino