LG and Samsung unveiled their smart home AI assistant robots yesterday at CES 2024 giving us a taste of how AI assistants are likely to become more integrated into everyday homelife.
Maybe calling these devices “robots” is a bit of a stretch because neither of them has arms so perhaps “mobile AI assistant” is a better description. If you imagine an Alexa device with an intelligence boost that follows you around, then you get the idea.
Neither company gave insight into the AI models their devices use but initial details seem to show they may have utility beyond the novelty factor.
LG – Smart Home AI Agent
LG has yet to come up with a catchy name for the latest addition to its product suite aimed at smart homes. The company says its smart AI agent that moves around on two wheels has “multi-modal technologies that enable it to move, learn, comprehend and engage in complex conversations.”
LG’s smart home AI agent is another step towards realizing what LG calls its “Zero Labor Home” vision.
The device can move around your home and interact with smart home appliances and household IoT devices.
Its cameras and other sensors enable it to gather real-time environmental data, including temperature, humidity, and indoor air quality.
LG says it could serve as a pet monitor or security guard. If you’ve left home and wonder if you remembered to turn the oven or your bedroom light off, then this little guy could be helpful.
It will meet you at the door when you come home and can analyze your tone of voice and facial expressions to know if you’ve had a tough day at work or not.
Ballie is an upgrade of the rolling robot assistant that Samsung unveiled in 2020. Ballie still rolls around on two wheels but now comes with a projector and is a lot smarter thanks to AI.
It has front and rear cameras that enable it to patrol your house like a mini security guard and can interact with smart devices like thermostats or lights.
The projector is what makes this a more desirable product than LG’s device. Being able to watch a projected video during your workout, while you’re cooking, or to make a video call with auto-translation is really handy.
The projector senses your posture and the angle of your head and adjusts where it projects accordingly.
Neither company gave more technical details or pricing info but both products are expected to be available to purchase later this year.
I really want a Ballie even though I’m not sure exactly what I’d do with it. Are products like these destined to be in every home? Will they be truly useful, or just an AI-powered tripping hazard?