First there was Ubi. Then Amazon announced the forthcoming Echo. Now a graduate of India’s National Institute of Technology, Karnataka has launched an Indiegogo campaign for HOMER, a home automation personal assistant.
HOMER appears to be in the concept phase. It has an ambitious list of possible features. Its home security features are to include a camera, motion detector, and door and window sensors. The goal is to also interface HOMER with all your home automation devices, so that you can control your thermostat, TV, lights, and other smart appliances with voice commands.
Acting as a personal assistant, HOMER is envisioned to be able to perform many tasks. It will set alarms and adjust them based on your preferences and factors like day of the week and weather. It can access your calendar and look at traffic and weather to help you reach meetings on time. HOMER will keep track of the whereabouts of family members and send or receive messages from/to them.
Children can interact with HOMER to ask it questions and get help with their homework. I found it interesting that one of HOMER’s anticipated skills is the ability to narrate stories. As it turns out, storytelling abilities was one of the features on my wishlist in my recent post on Amazon Echo.
Will HOMER become a reality and will it be able to fulfill the ambitious dreams of its designers? Only time will tell. The HOMER Indiegogo funding campaign has a long way to go to meet the goal. But the fact that the concept for HOMER exists is evidence that the idea of home-based, voice-enabled intelligent assistants is in the air. Within a year or two, will we all have a smart box in our homes that talks, listens, entertains, and assists us in ways no other device currently does? It’s hard to predict what will succeed with consumers. But if the trend continues, consumers may have quite a few home assistant brands and models to choose from.