One of the latest device trends of the emerging AI assistant technology market seems to be smart mirrors, or as they call themselves, ‘digital butlers.’ I last wrote last month about the ambitious, and seemingly capable offering from Daptly. And now one called Duo launched last week, now available for pre-order.
Too Good To Be True?
Duo claims to have connectivity to smart home devices, facial recognition, multi-user support, multi-touch capabilities and natural language recognition. Some in the tech sector are skeptical it can really do all it says. Mike Wehner of BGR writes:
The mirror’s extremely impressive list of capabilities — brand new OS, dedicated app store, totally original AI voice assistant with “personality packs,” games, streaming video, etc — would be impressive even if it were coming from a company like Samsung. The fact that all of this is coming from a company with a brand new website and a physical contact address that seems to be an apartment in New York City doesn’t fill us with confidence.
He has a point. Especially considering Duo offers features that even the tech giants, like Amazon and Samsung have yet to provide to their users. It also claims users can personalize every aspect of its virtual assistant, like name, gender, accent and jokes. And it says it will offer an independent app store, with voice-controlled apps for Instagram and YouTube.
The Smart Mirror Market
While Duo has its skeptics, much more has been written about it than its competition, Daptly. While Daptly isn’t claiming to offer as many features as Duo, it does have a few that Duo does not, like gesture commands. Daptly is truly hands-free while Duo still relies on a touch interface in addition to voice commands. And as far as voice recognition technology, we know Daptly is in good hands because the device is integrated with Amazon’s Alexa. Duo’s voice assistant Albert seems capable in the demo video, but no further information is provided about the technology.
We’ll know more about what’s beneath the surface of these two smart mirrors when they launch this fall – Duo in October and Daptly in December. It will also be interesting to see if there is room in the market for another AI home device, especially considering the $500-plus price tag for both devices. But these price points could come down, especially when a big tech name inevitably launches its own smart mirror.
You can view a demo of Duo in the video below.