CNN Money | Ohmni Home Robot Simplifies Video Chat
Wednesday April 12, 2017
OhmniLabs was featured on CNNMoney for launching the Ohmni home robot designed to simplify video chatting with family.
OhmniLabs wants to make video chatting with family and friends easier — by bringing in a robot.
The Silicon Valley robotics startup is launching Ohmni, a home robot designed to make video chatting with family less of a hassle.
“Families today are often spread out across countries and continents, making it a challenge to stay in touch,” said Thuc Vu, OhmniLabs’ co-founder and CEO.
That’s where Ohmni comes in. The telepresence robot is about five feet tall and weighs 20 pounds. It has wheels, a camera and a tablet, which allow for hands-free video chatting. Ohmni can move around the home and is remotely controlled by the caller. (The call recipient can’t control the robot, but can put it on “do not disturb” mode to block calls.)
The company launched an Indiegogo campaign on Wednesday, making the robot available to pre-order for $1,395. Once the campaign ends May 11, the price will increase by $500. They’ll begin shipping to early backers in the fall.
Vu, who is from Vietnam, wants to spend quality time with his family there and says services like Skype and FaceTime are “not satisfying enough.”
“With our product, I can lock remotely into my robot in Vietnam and look around,” Vu told CNNTech. “[I can] watch TV with my dad or see my mom playing the piano thousands of miles away, with the click of a button.”
The robot connects to Wi-Fi, and callers control its movements through a web browser. When someone calls, Ohmni announces the name and connects the call (unless “do not disturb” mode is on). Currently the robot can’t make outgoing calls, but the company said it will add voice-activated calling later this year. Ohmni can be folded in half for transportation and its battery lasts five to six hours.
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