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Amazon Echo vs Jibo: Digital Assistants Compared

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Amazon Echo is ideal for those who have a loud house and who want to be heard above all of the noise. It’s specifically geared towards helping you with traffic reports, weather reports, and general Internet questions all through your voice. Jibo is for

Computers are getting sophisticated enough these days that they can now help you correlate your whole life together with digital assistant devices. Here are two major digital assistants that have come out recently so you can see which one would be superior for your needs.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is a tall cylinder with speakers and voice recognition. You can talk to it from nearly anywhere in the same room, and ask it questions, or have it perform various tasks for you.

Features

  • $50 Prime Member Discount-If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can get $50 off of the introductory cost of the machine.
  • Play Various Music Apps-You can get the device to play a specific music station from Pandora completely through voice recognition. You can also play iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Amazon Music and Prime Music. The Bluetooth feature in the device lets you stream music from any other app on a nearby tablet to Echo as well.
  • Room-filling Speaker-The site claims that Echo can fill an entire room with sound, and this makes sense because the cylinder has a speaker all the way around it for 360 degrees at the bottom.
  • Far-Field Voice Recognition- Right underneath the light ring at the very top of Echo is a network of 7 microphones. They go all the way around the outside with one in the middle. This allows Echo to hear over music. It also allows it to hear the “wake” word from across a room.
  • Connect to Home Automation like Wemo or Hue-Belkin Wemo is a device that lets you control fans, space heater or any other device that you connect through a Belkin Wemo outlet. Hue lights from Phillips can also be controlled using your voice this way through Echo.
  • Information Services-You can ask for information about the state of traffic nearby, the weather, current news, and even basic questions and answers.
  • Other Assistant Automation-You can set an alarm through your voice using echo. You can create a shopping list, you can start a timer, you can create to-do lists and other assistant-related tasks.
  • Smart Adaptation- The A.I. aboard echo can learn your voice over time. It can learn to predict what you’re going to want before you say it, and it slowly gets better at recognizing the particular way that you use words.

 

Jibo

Jibo is also in a pre-order stage, just like Amazon Echo. It’s been reviewed by sites like Wired, Yahoo News, and Mashable. It looks like it started out on Indiegogo. There’s a lot of hype around the robot since it’s marketed as an all solutions social bot for assisting and even conversing with family members like he’s one of the family himself.

Features

  • Useful for All Ages-For adults, Jibo can help you stay ahead of family tasks like grocery shopping. He can also take pictures or video for you. He’s equipped with the ability to converse with older people, and offer teaching programs for younger people.
  • Take Photos with More Than Just Voice-The device can actually detect when people are posing for pictures by keying in to non-verbal cues like people smiling or certain gestures. The device can also do this with vocal cues as well, of course.
  • See-and-Track Camera-The robot can swivel around to track you and keep its video screen in a place you can see while you’re on a video call. This is apparently more of a natural feel for communicating long distance, just like the person was in the room.
  • Individual Family Member Recognition and Message Storage-Jibo can store patterns for each individual member of the family. It can also be told to deliver messages from one member to another at a particular time.
  • Tell Stories to Children-Jibo can using sound effects, video, images and even movements to entertain children in an interactive way.

Head to Head

Price

Currently, Amazon Echo costs about $200. Prime members can purchase it for $50 less at around $150.

Jibo is starting out at $750 or so for the “home edition.” It will be available in May 2016 for shipping according to the site.

Amazon Echo is far cheaper than Jibo, by around 5 times even starting out. This is because the uses for the two devices are pretty different.

Features

Amazon Echo is starting out as invitation-only, but this will likely move to universal availability soon after. You can request an invitation right on the site. The invitation will be sent through your Amazon account, so you’ll have to have an account or get one to properly request an echo device. Currently, there’s no support features available since the device is still incoming. But Amazon is known for having relatively good customer service in general, including many different options from tablets and desktop so this will likely be decent.

Jibo also has 360-degree microphones, but it also has two high-resolution cameras for video calling, taking photos and videos, and also tracking people’s faces. It can recognize people and interact with them based on that knowledge.

Amazon Echo is a voice-only device. It’s a simple and low-cost way to connect with the Internet and automate your life. It’s especially effective for those who are fans of Amazon Prime since it can access many features through that service. In contrast, Jibo is more like an actual robot than just a voice. Jibo can move around and recognize people. It acts more like a separate entity and not just an Internet access point. This is because it has a screen just like a face and it can remember individuals and things that you tell it. Another important difference is that Jibo can act more on its own, swiveling around the room to get tasks done such as cataloguing events. This means that if being heard is what’s the most important to you, as well as no-nonsense home automation, then Amazon Echo is what you’ll want. Jibo is for those who dreamed about having a real-life physical robot. You can pre-order it through the red “Pre-order now” button.

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Mitchell Wyatt

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