Japan will be always mean samurais, anime, sushi and robots, and Sharp Corp. took serious steps to bank on the last category.
Last year in October, the company revealed a 7.5-inch-tall walking, talking smartphone called RoboHon. Sharp now adds more information, announcing that the tiny droid will be available for purchase next month. During the first stage of production, Sharp aims to sell 5,000 RoBoHoN devices. The price could dissolve the smile off the faces of robotic fans, however, as the tiny device asks you to shell out 198,000 yen ($1,800) for one unit.
Sharp promises that RoboHon will be available for purchase on the Japanese market starting May 26. You may learn more details about the device from its official page (spoiler alert: it's not in English).
The concept of RoboHon is quirky, but it comes with a certain level of fascination. Robotics enthusiasts will enjoy the company of the tiny machine, which sports the personality of a Japanese child.
The small gadget is able to move, talk and blink, and it does it all in accordance with specific contexts and the functionalities.
It should be noted that RoboHon acts pretty much as a feature phone, sans keys. Most actions are triggered via voice commands, but a tiny screen on its back is there to assist with a few instructions. For other functions, the gadget will have an app.
RoboHon features both text messages and voice calls, but the manufacturer touts that LTE connectivity works as well. The device is ready to respond to the user's voice commands, but the catch is that the command must be delivered in Japanese. The small droid holsters a camera on its forehead that can capture and replay memories in video form. The device's dancing abilities are also a cute gimmick, while the video projection feature adds to the cool tricks.
The first batch of robot phones will be sold in Japan and will operate using NTT DoCoMo's network. Sharp announced that it plans to expand to other carriers as well, but the steep price of the RoboHon could make negotiations challenging, to say the least.
Should the tiny gadget score high popularity rates in Japan, we might see such devices take voice commands in more global markets.