Samsung's Developer Conference for 2016 recently took place in San Francisco, and needless to say, the Korean tech giant took the opportunity to share ideas and showcase a variety of products, some of which have been labeled as prototypes created by the company’s C-Lab division. Samsung discussed its ARTIK cloud platform for the Internet of Things, and to demonstrate the platform’s capabilities to a certain extent, the company also took the veil off a personal assistant robot / smart speaker prototype called Samsung Otto, which can be used to connect and control various IoT home devices.
Samsung Otto can be described as a smart speaker, a personal assistant robot, or both, and not unlike the Amazon Echo lineup, Samsung Otto incorporates a speaker, a microphone, and can answer a number of questions including basic queries such as “what’s the weather?” However, unlike the Amazon Echo series, Samsung Otto also includes a small display that can accommodate numerous “facial expressions”, as well as animations which, for example, can inform the user about the weather at a glance. Furthermore, Samsung Otto is equipped with an HD camera for face recognition, but the sensor can also be used as a remote security camera. Additionally, the robot has the ability to sing and bobble its head, but that’s as far as physical animations go, so Sharp’s RoboHon can rest easy.
As far as availability is concerned, sadly Samsung Otto is still a prototype and can’t be qualified as a real product yet. However, Samsung Otto’s main purpose at SDC 2016 was to showcase the ARTIK cloud platform in action from a hardware and software point of view, which means that similar products may be released in the future by companies other than Samsung, who may be interested in creating commercially viable IoT products based on the South Korean’s new ARTIK platform. At the moment, Samsung ARTIK consists of three complete IoT hardware solutions (ARTIK 1, ARTIK 5, and ARTIK 10), which can natively communicate with other IoT devices using Samsung’s ARTIK Cloud service. Samsung Electronics took an interest in robotics last year, and reportedly the company will work together with the South Korean government for the next three years in order to boost the country’s robotic sector.