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The current version of the Ubi only supports English. We plan on making other languages available in the future.
We're working to allow you to change the wake up phrase for the Ubi. For wake up phases, the general rule is the longer the phrase, the better the performance. Creating a new wake up word will require training the Ubi and will be specific to an individual speaker.
While we're not planning on shipping Ubi with this functionality, the capability of connecting to other Internet connected devices through custom commands is built into the Ubi.
The Ubi has Bluetooth capability but we're still working on integration and making this capability available from the Ubi portal.
The Ubi comes with an FCC, UL, and CE approved power adapter. This adapter plugs into the back of the Ubi and can handle line surges.
While the Ubi runs Android, different features will be added through the Ubi Portal.
We love IFTTT. We're hoping to include the Ubi in the IFTTT recipes. Barring that, we're developing a web portal that will have similar plugs and an API for connected to other software.
You won't need any contracts to access the Ubi Portal or change settings. You may need a service contract for Internet access (required to use the Ubi) and possibly for Voice Over IP (VoIP) calls from the Ubi.
Since something that's always listening can evoke a lot of privacy concerns, we're making sure that we provide a lot of choice to enable or disable different features on the Ubi.
Ubi uses voice search in a similar manner to how Android devices and iPhones use voice search and the data that is sent to these services is encrypted.
Also, the Ubi doesn't eavesdrop. Instead, it's always listening for its wake up word. Only once the wake up word is spoken does it send whatever's spoken afterwards to speech recognition engines.
The Ubi's microphone can always be muted by pressing the button on the front of the device.
The physical servers that run the Ubi Portal are stored at secure facilities and all sensitive data stored (e.g. sensor information) is encrypted. We also anonymize all data that's connected so that it cannot be associated with your username / location.
Speech recognition has improved significantly over the past few years and the rate of improvement is increasing. Within range of the Ubi, we're able to get very high performance in speech recognition.
At the time of shipping, you'll be able to:
Shortly, we'll be adding the ability to:
We'll continue to roll out features after delivery once we've rigorously tested them, including the remaining big features:
Our prototype's microphone sensitivity is -40 dBV/Pa ±3 dB. In our tests, it could pick up voices at a regular volume from over 10 ft away.
Smart phones, tablets, and the Ubi complement each other. There are, however, some fundamental differences in the capabilities and applications of the Ubi compared to other devices. The Ubi is always on, always ready, always listening to its environment (unless you want it to close its ears). Phones and tablets need charging and require your hands to use. Ubi is meant to be placed in a fixed location and always accessible with voice whereas our phones are sometimes not the easiest things to find when we're home. Also, when you leave home, Ubi is still there waiting for you and monitoring the environment.
Ubi comes with sensors that can be used for home automation and monitoring. It also has lights that can indicate different information.
Each Ubi comes with a one year warranty. We want to make sure whoever gets an Ubi is thrilled with it.
Most of the functionality of the Ubi resides on the cloud. We'll be releasing shortly an API that will allow for developers to create very unique and interactive web applications that interface with the Ubi. This will essentially allow you to control your apps from the Ubi.
The current version of the Ubi does not contain a battery. We are exploring the possibility of adding a battery for backup power in the event of a power outage.
The Ubi has one button. Pressing this button once mutes the microphone. Holding the button for three seconds puts the Ubi in setup mode - allowing it to be configured to new wireless networks. Unplugging and replugging the Ubi resets it to normal mode.
Just like restarting your computer or smartphone, the Ubi will retain the Wi-Fi information and other settings and will start again. The restart time is approximately two minutes.
You can have as many Ubis as the number of wall outlets in your home or office. The Ubi is designed to sync with other Ubis. Placing two of them in a regular sized room may cause them both to trigger.
Setting up the Ubi takes from 5-10 minutes. It will require you to set up a user account and to know their Wi-Fi password. Setup can be done through setup.theubi.com. You will also need a laptop / desktop with Wi-Fi capability and an Ubi account.
All you need is wireless Internet access and an available power outlet. You can access a lot of other hardware with the Ubi through Wi-Fi. Bluetooth and USB will be available at a later time. You can also remotely access the sensor data on the Ubi using your phone, tablet, PC, or laptop from anywhere in the world.
Our goal is to make Ubi affordable so that everyone can have at least one. In short... no, the Ubi can't connect directly to your TV. We're exploring future versions that may have this feature. There are some possible hacks to get the Ubi to work with your TV but it's not recommended.
There are two ways of accessing the sensors data on the Ubi: (1) logging into the Ubi Portal; (2) using the Ubi Web API to stream data to other services.
You can also create alerts through the Ubi Portal to let you know if anything unusual happens while you're away.
While you can also use the USB port for powering your phone, tablet or other devices, we plan to make it available for connecting storage, adding peripherals, or even helping with setup.
In normal mode, the Ubi should draw less than 3 W. When fully functioning and with the LEDs at full power, the level increases up to 8 W. We are investigating ways we can minimize power consumption while still streaming data from the Ubi.
The Ubi comes with 8 GB local storage but the footprint on the Ubi is very low - most information the Ubi accessed is stored online and streamed to the Ubi.
We are working to provide a selection of voices for the Ubi. These will be accessible and updatable through the Ubi portal.
The main functionality of the Ubi can be accessed through the Ubi Portal. Contacts, custom commands, and other information is pushed down from the Ubi Portal to the Ubis.
We believe some people may want to use the Ubi to stream music. While we're endeavoring to provide great sound quality, we know there are much bigger players in the field. We hope to provide stereo sound through this jack and it will bypass and disable the Ubi's internal speakers.
You can unplug the Ubi and plug it in elsewhere with Wi-Fi coverage. You'll be able to rename the location of the Ubi by either using the Ubi upcoming app or through the Ubi portal.
We're working to preserve as much functionality as possible of the Ubi in the event that there's an Internet outage. The Ubi, though, is an Internet device and requires a strong, healthy Internet connection. With a bad connection, voice quality during calls (in development) will suffer and there may be increased latency in getting the Ubi to respond or return search results. While the Ubi requires low latency, it doesn't require a large bandwidth connection to operate well.
The Ubi will tie into many of the capabilities of Android for voice search and text to speech / speech to text. However, we'll be adding quite a number of capabilities that will be required to use Android without any visual feedback or touch input. This means automatically switching between applications and driving events through voice input. It also means outputting through speech. Android was chosen as the OS for the Ubi so that we can quickly deploy new features.
More important than the Android version is the Ubi app that resides on it. All updates to the Ubi's software and firmware are handled automatically from the Ubi Portal.
We're currently limited shipments to Canada and the United States as we work out a proper support structure. Let us know that you're interested in getting the Ubi by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.