Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of devices you can talk to to make them do stuff. That’s all good and well, but apart from talking back to you, they don’t really seem to care about you all that much. Emotech takes a different tack with Olly, adding personality and giving the assistant a physical personality. And it’s pretty damn cute, too.
Emotech first showed off the first version of Olly at the TechCrunch Battlefield stage in London a couple of years ago, followed up with a beefy $10m round of investment, and picked up a quartet of awards at CES this year, too. Specifically, it picked up CES Innovation awards for Smart Home, Drones and Unmanned Systems, Home Appliances and Home A/V components. Nice.
“Olly is dramatically different from what we presented on the TechCrunch stage in 2015,” says Chelsea Chen, co-founder of Emotech. “The industrial design has been changed completely, all hardware is now tailor made and we built a speech recognition ourselves. On top of that, we created a whole UI system, using abstract color, shape, movement to enable Olly to express emotion and personality.”
The company is hesitant to confirm a price, but, when pressed, suggests that it will be in the region of around $700 or so, putting Olly’s price-tag on par with a high-end smartphone. The company is planning to start with a limited production run for media and testing purposes, followed by the first production run in Q3 this year.