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ivee Voice Activated Assistant Gets an Update and a Kickstart

Sections: Lighting control, Remote control, Smart Home

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ivee Sleek controls the Nest Learning ThermostatYou 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.

Future updates will include enhancements like Roomba control by way of RooWiFi, and potentially even simple automation hubs like Lowe’s Iris.

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.

Via [Kickstarter — ivee Sleek: Wi-Fi Voice-Activated Assistant]

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