As a tech geek, I find myself wondering what will be the new gadget to allow us to be more efficient in our lives. From business to play, it seems as if Apple and its competitors are constantly one upping each other in hopes to be the winner in a never ending battle of technocracy. I find myself getting excited over new technology only to quickly try and figure out how we can improve it.
iRobot has done just that with the announcement of the Ava 500. iRobot, best known for its autonomous Roomba vacuum, is making an attempt to change the way in which we communicate via video-conferencing. It seems as if they felt video-conferencing had too many limitations and there had to be a way to make it better. In the very near future, we will no longer be confined to a screen. Instead you will be able to embody a robot that allows you to stroll through a building to inspect things at close range.
iRobot formed an alliance with Cisco to create this device that will allow us to hold video conferences while remaining mobile. This device is equipped with the Cisco Telepresence EX60 telepresence system. With dimensions of 5’5 the iRobot is basically a two way screen.
With this new development you will no longer have to make a physical appearance to tour a building or observe, well, anything.
- Cisco Aironet 1600 Series wireless technology for communication
- Wifi 3G or 4G Connectivity available
- Advanced sensor that consists of laser, sonar as well as 2D and 3D imaging
- Cliff sensors and contact bumpers
- Voice, gesture and touch controls
- Autonomous charge
- Interface that is similar to the iPad
- Open application programming
- 360 degree movement capabilities
- 21.5 inch HD screen
- Autonomous mobility
- Better audio and video
- More reliable and secure than existing video-conferencing such as skype
- Reduce business travel expenses
At this point, the only con we can foresee is the cost. However, the price has yet to be listed so we are unsure of how negative that is actually going to be. What we tell you is its counterpart the RP-VITA which is used in the medical industry is a hefty $6,000 a month to lease. If the number is anywhere close to the RP-VITA, I really hope you have taken advantage of savings best interest rates on savings accounts. You may need that high yield account to keep afloat if you plan on making this type of purchase.
There are, of course, other options if you are a business owner who finds it difficult to conduct all of your business confined in one space. For example, if you have the best credit cards for small businesses to fund this extremely high tech computer you may find the minimal interest rate and lack of additional travel helps to balance the cost.
Even if you find this to be slightly ridiculous you have to admit that it is pretty cool. Stay tuned for more as the Ava 500 will be demonstrated at the InfoComm 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida later this month. It’s schedule release date is not exact but you can expect to see it sometime early in 2014.