Date:7 January 2013 Tags:, ,

Connect to the world with the ubiquitous computer

Yet another successful Kickstarter campaign has raised a useful R1,9 million in pledges to fund the development and production of an always-on, voice-activated, Wi-Fi-connected microcomputer called Ubi. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s likely to change in the near future. Brainchild of a trio of Canadian engineers, the Android-powered device plugs into a wall outlet and connects wirelessly to your office or home network, drawing data from a variety of sensors and delivering data on humidity, temperature, air pressure and ambient light on request. The data can be stored online or used to trigger alerts to your mobile device or e-mail.

That’s just for starters. Ubi’s built-in microphone, stereo speakers and voice recognition software allow you to interact with it through plain language. Alternatively, you can call up an Android or iOS app to control, program and monitor the device. Saying “Ubi” wakes it up and readies it to receive verbal commands; it responds through speech or by using lights. A USB port at the side caters for connection to storage devices (the Ubi comes with 4 GB of solid state storage), home automation systems, additional sensors and so on. It also comes with Bluetooth.
Say the people behind the newly formed Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation: “We see a huge potential for Ubi to assist those who have visual, hearing or mobility impair-ments. With its indicator lights and talk-to-activate functionality, Ubi is super-simple to set up and use. “We want the Ubi to make it easier for our parents and loved ones to stay connected with us and
the world.”

The device is currently available at a “pre-order” price of about R1 800. For more information, visit http://theubi.com

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