Anki has announced a few things today in regards to its latest product, Vector. Firstly, it is going to be getting Amazon Alexa integration in the coming weeks. In fact, Anki promises to have Alexa integration before the holidays. Anki says that with Alexa, you can talk to Vector like you would Alexa, and do things like set reminders, search for information, control your smart home products and much more. Basically, it would work the same as an Amazon Echo. Which is a good thing for those that are looking to use Vector as they would Alexa.
Vector was originally introduced over the summer on Kickstarter, and it met its goal within 24 hours. It launched about a month ago on Amazon, and has been a pretty popular product for Anki. The company notes that Anki has already received over five million voice queries, performed 700,000 fist bumps, hosted 227,000 dance parties and traveled 1,800 miles. Those are some pretty interesting numbers, since Vector is pretty small, and really just rolls around on a table-top, so hitting 1,800 miles is rather impressive. Finally, Anki announced that it will be part of Amazon's Gold Box Deal of the Day tomorrow, November 17, where the Vector will be on sale for 30-percent off, dropping $75 off of its price and coming in at $175. That's a pretty good price on this robot, and it'll be good tomorrow only.
Background: Anki is actually a pretty popular company for its artificial intelligence products. It's very popular for its Overdrive series of products, which consist of race tracks, with cars and you can control them with your smartphone. That right there is what really makes this a rather impressive product, and definitely fun for all ages. Anki has also been building some robots, before Vector, they were mostly aimed at kids. These robots would help kids learn different things, so they are educational robots and do work pretty well. Vector is made for people of all ages, and it's more of a toy than anything really, but with the addition of Alexa coming soon, it should be a pretty popular one.
Impact: Adding Alexa to the Anki Vector is going to open up all sorts of doors for Anki and it's definitely something that consumers are going to love. Instead of having a smart speaker that doesn't really do much other than talk and play music, you can now have a robot that moves around and have fun with it. As mentioned already, Vector is going to be able to work the same as an Echo smart speaker, so you can ask Vector to play music on a speaker like the Sonos One, or ask Vector to turn off the lights in your home, even ask Vector who the president is, and other questions like that. Anki hasn't said when exactly this update is going to be available, but it will be coming soon. Anki has said "before the holidays", which ideally means before December 25, but there are definitely things that could stand in the way of that happening.