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Olly is a robot smart home assistant that can probably out-think your Amazon Echo


Olly is a robot smart home assistant that can probably out-think your Amazon Echo

WATCH | The tabletop digital assistant is getting popular. Here's a new one with a little extra intelligence that flaunts a more robotic shape.

Echo? Google Home? Olly.

If you haven't yet decided to join either Team Amazon Echo or Team Google Home, you may want to hold off. The upcoming Olly countertop digital assistant device by Emotech, which spins in place like a Star Wars droid and can learn what information or media to give you without having to ask, looks like it might sway some smart home fans to its corner when it launches this coming fall.

Olly GIF

A more personable smart home helper

At its base, Emotech says its new robot can provide a lot of the same functions that other popular voice-controlled smart home devices can: control smart light bulbs, provide info found on the internet, etc. Where Olly goes further, smarts-wise, is with its "brain-inspired" AI that helps it recognize which library of songs to play for a particular household member. Thanks to its proximity sensors, Olly can also learn to pop on the lights, start music or simply start a conversation when you come home.

Olly up close

Olly detects when you're near and can initiate a conversation on its own.

I adapt to my owner's personality.

Expressive and charming

Olly's grabbiest feature is probably its physical expressiveness. With lights that coincide with its speech and the sort-of "head" movements it makes with its speaker ring, this engaging home assistant will likely take more of a center-stage place in your kitchen or living room. That's unlike the Amazon Echo or Google Home, which offer no compelling reasons to not shove them in the corner of the room.

Olly doesn't come cheap, though

Of course, all the potential one-ups on Amazon's and Google's smart-home hubs come at a cost: Olly is expected to launch sometime this fall with a price tag that more-so matches a smartphone ($600-$800) than an Echo or a Google Home ($129-$179).

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