If you’re struggling to find a way to justify the purchase of a robotic dog, try Sony’s suggestion for size. The company is pitching its latest Pearl Black AIBO model as a replacement for a PDA and MP3 player. The AIBO is being released along with the AIBO MIND 2 software which allows your AIBO to: record moving pictures wirelessly; recognice patterns, voices and faces; play music from an MP3 library on command; play internet radio (and dance along to the music); and read out items from your calendar. The AIBO can also be programmed to wake you up in the morning.
Excerpts from the perky press release follow.
AIBO- the life and soul of the party
Here you are, host of the party and it’s time for AIBO to entertain your friends. “AIBO, play music!” you say and your companion complies, playing out random songs from your favourite CDs from its built in speaker while dancing to the tunes. When AIBO is finished your friends have their turn, showing your party animal one of your selection of CDs and marvelling as AIBO recognises the cover and plays the music they’ve selected. AIBO isn’t finished with its magic however as it can pick up and play music from Internet radio stations or from your MP3 playlist in response to your spoken commands.
Much more than a musical entertainer, improved Navigator functions and wireless networking mean AIBO can be an even more interactive aid to party hosts. AIBO can send back sound and vision to your PC from a head mounted camera and mîcrophones and transmit your voice through its speaker, so the fun possibilities are endless. Send AIBO into a circle of your friends, while you monitor movements from your PC, then observe their startled reactions as AIBO addresses them in your voice. You can even record the fun to play back as a video on your PC later.
AIBO the personal assistant
The party is winding down; you and your friends are making plans for meeting up the next day. “AIBO, What’s my calendar?” you ask and again your clever companion comes to your aid, reading out your appointments from your PC calendar. An early morning start is planned so AIBO is assigned the task of waking you with some pleasant music from your collection at the appointed time. You know of course that your home is in good hands while you are out – AIBO performs house sitting duties, catching cookie thieves red handed by recording any movement and noise, then emailing any activity to you. AIBO knows its friends however; it certainly recognises your face and voice!