The “Kuri” robot will use facial recognition to begin automatic recordings of its users in their living space, with or without their input.
Kuri ships in December 2017, a holiday season tech treat that is sure to make waves with its futuristic look and feature set. It’s “romoji” facial expressions give it a cute minimalist-cool aesthetic, and also serve to help express whether the robot understands your commands. It looks like an amusing novelty, one of the first generations of interactive in-home service robots. At $799, it’s a steep but not entirely prohibitive notion, akin to picking up a VR device or a mid-range PC.
This is the relatively attractive package that Kuri’s creators, Mayfield Robotics, are pushing. However, consumer concern is less involved with the amount of playlists it can store within its silicon cerebellum, and more with its most headline-grabbing feature: Kuri records you, automatically.
Kuri rolls to its charging pad when it’s low on power, and dances on command. But it also observes your home, letting you know, for instance, when your dog is on the couch. Further, it uses facial recognition technology to figure out who it might be interacting with, to offer a customized experience. This information is all shared with its mobile app, uploaded as it is acquired so it is immediately at your fingertips.
This mean that, despite a plush feature set and all sorts of clever tricks, consumers will be forced to trust their identities and their homes to the security of said mobile phone software. Considering the repeated issues that just about every tech manufacturer seems to have with keeping user personal information secure, Kuri looks like more liability than luxury, for those who can afford to have one bumping around their domicile.
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