You guys may remember the ivee Bedside Assistant that Jeff covered a few years back. It was a wicked cool concept, to be sure — basically, Siri built into an alarm clock — but the execution left a little to be desired. Jeff got one in for review, and couldn’t get it to understand him in anything but a silent room, and reviews of both ivee models on Amazon were less than kind, with a plurality of users giving the devices one star ratings.
Hey, when you’re trying something new, you’re going to stumble a little along the way. The folks at ivee seem to have learned some valuable lessons, though, and are coming back to market with a new and improved ivee, promising superior voice recognition thanks to a beam-forming microphone array and AT&T’s Watson Speech API, along with some really nifty Wi-Fi connectivity features, including integration with a number of third-party DIY automation devices. So you’ll be able, for example, to tell ivee to turn on the lights, and if you have a Nest Learning Thermostat, you can even control the temperature without having to touch a thing. For now, that is. Given Nest Labs’ outright hostility toward home automation, as evidenced by the fit pitched over HouseLogix’s Control4 driver, I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets nipped in the bud really quickly.
There’s no word, unfortunately, on potential compatibility with Control4, but give that it’s all IP-based, if this new ivee does well enough in the market to justify it, I see no reason why someone like Extra Vegetables couldn’t whip up a driver.
The Kickstarter project for the new ivee Sleek is already funded, with 19 days left to go, and although the $149 Early Backer models in Night Black and Pearl White have already been snagged, you can still get your own ivee Sleek for $179 — twenty bucks off the eventual retail price. For $299, you can also get your hands on a beta unit in August, a full two months before shipping officially begins. Or you can drop $10,000, as one ivee lover already has, for a seven-day all-expenses-paid trip that includes dinner and a night on the town in Hong Kong and a tour of the factory in Shenzhen to see ivee Sleek being made, followed by some more wining and dining in Hong Kong.