This year’s Mobile World Congress is wrapping up in Barcelona, and while the focus of the event is on mobile devices and technology a few items were announced that bleed into the SmartHome space.
LG announced a robot called the LG Rolling Bot, which might make it into actual production someday. The LG Rolling Bot lives in your home and can be controlled by your smart phone. The bot can control your TV (presumably with an IR blaster), has an 8MP webcam and two-way audio. Oh, and it has a laser pointer that can be controlled remotely. So yes, it is essentially an overgrown remote controlled cat toy. It will also be able to control other home appliances, likely LG smart appliances, but who cares? It’s a cat toy.
Meanwhile, Sony announced what appears to be a version of Amazon’s Alexa on steroids. As part of the Xperia line of Sony products, which currently includes phones and tablets, the new device is a voice controlled SmartHome hub of sorts. There isn’t much information available yet, and Sony’s own website only includes one image of the device (in a collage of other upcoming Xperia devices), so it looks like we’ll have to wait to see exactly what it can control to determine if it will be a real competitor to Alexa’s well integrated platform.