Meet The First Social Robot For The Home

Jibo wants to be your next roommate, but right now he’s having a hard time making friends.

The Boston-based company, Jibo, Inc., launched the robot in the fall, describing him as the world’s first social robot. He’s packed with personality, identifying people with his camera and six microphones. He’ll answer questions, take a photo, tell jokes – and even dance.

"He can recognize up to 16 people which we call Jibo loop members," said Kyle Jacobs, senior product manager at Jibo. "We’re integrating really awesome productivity including bedtime reminders and a new proactive report including calendars commutes and other types of notifications like news and weather."

The robot is priced at roughly $900. CRN’s Kyle Alspach explains why the high price makes the robot less competitive in the smart speaker market, where an Amazon Alexa sells for around 80 dollars.

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"The price tag is definitely high if you’re comparing it to devices that are currently available," said Alspach. "If you are thinking about this as here’s a pet for your home or another human being for your home, which is kind of how they want you think about it, maybe you would consider paying more."

Jibo partners with iHeartRadio to bring the latest music to its customers, as well as IFTTT to connect Jibo to other devices. Later this year, the company is expected to do direct integrations with Hue Smart Lights.