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Friday, January 2, 2015

Ubi review: This voice-controlled computer is too obtuse for the modern smart home

Its manufacturer ambitiously calls the Ubi—a voice-operated computer—the "Voice of The Internet." It's a small box (measuring 4.75 by 4.75 inches and 1.5 inches thick) designed to plug directly into an electrical outlet. With its integrated microphone and speaker, it looks much like an intercom. Once connected to your home Wi-Fi network, you can use the Ubi to control smart devices with voice commands, access online information and entertainment, get voice alerts for calendar events and incoming mail, and perform other potentially useful tasks.

UCIC says Ubi works with smart-home devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and a variety of gadgets in the SmartThings portfolio. I tested it with a Belkin WeMo Insight smart switch, basically a three-prong outlet you plug into an existing outlet and turn on and off via Wi-Fi. The Ubi also works with If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes, and the list of recipes available on the IFTTT site, some created by the company itself, gives a good idea of the range of tasks the Ubi can accomplish.

Read more: http://www.techhive.com/article/2863027/ubi-review-this-voice-controlled-computer-is-too-obtuse-for-the-modern-smart-home.html

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