Out of all the Amazon Echo wannabes, ElliQ might just prove to be the most successful due to its unique orientation. The device wants to offer smart assistance specifically to the elderly.
Smart Assistant For The Elderly
The target puts ElliQ uniquely positioned to tap a possibly lucrative market, at least in its segment in the tech world. This is best demonstrated in the device's introductory video.
According to its maker, Intuition Robotics, 50 percent of elderly women who are 75 years old and above lives alone. It methodically underscored its value proposition by citing how 90 percent of the people in this demographic prefer to live in their own homes.
Essentially, what ElliQ wants to do is to simplify the way senior citizens interact with technology especially if they live on their own. It is not yet clear if it can also control other devices that fall in the smart home category.
Intuitive Smart Companion
In addition, it also provides functions that can meaningfully help its owners. For example, it can remind those who are already forgetful about their medication schedule. The device could even arrange for a ride, and other tasks that could make life easier for its owner.
Like Amazon Echo's Alexa, ElliQ is also powered by an AI. The device seems capable of holding an effective conversation, recognizing contexts so it can pick up commands and anticipate needs. This last is demonstrated in the way ElliQ proactively make suggestions. It could even encourage users to take a walk or do some physical activity if it perceives that the owner has been sedentary for long period.
The device is also being aimed at children of the elderly who requires a mechanism to monitor their parents at home. The device is capable of sharing data so that family members could check the condition of an elderly at home, including their environs.
ElliQ is also quite unique looking, as the contraption has two components. There is the speaker system that appears to be a robot with a moving and talking head. The other involves a tablet, where all media consumption as well as communication activities take place.
The device has been designed in collaboration with Yves Béhar, who is the chief creative officer at Jawbone. This resulted to an expressive AI technology that is capable of displaying emotion and "body language" through the clever use of movements, sounds, and light. This could be an edge to Amazon Echo, which is only currently confined to its Alexa skills.
"Our goal is to leverage a combination of our proprietary technology, emotive interaction models, and gerontology insights with elegant design to empower older adults to intuitively interact with technology and easily connect with content and loved ones and pursue an active lifestyle," Dor Skuler, CEO and founder of Intuition Robotics, told VentureBeat. "We like to think of her as part communication coordinator, part facilitator of lifelong learning and part coach. She's easy to talk to, intuitive to operate, and understands her owner."
The device is going to be launched mid-January at the Design Museum of London. There is still no word about its commercial debut or how much ElliQ will cost when it finally hits store shelves. If you are interested to get one, simply head to Intuition Robotics' website and sign up for the waiting list.