Cell Phone Accessories

Rogo dock lets your smartphone run a smart home

Having a personal assistant in the home either means shelling out lots of money for someone to follow you around all day or going all in on some of the more experimental attempts to integrate robotics in the home.  Choosing either option overlooks the most powerful computing device in most people’s lives: the smartphone.

Rogo is a dock that uses the connectivity of a smartphone to power a range of applications aimed at giving users a true personal assistant in the home. All of Rogo’s apps are powered by a cloud platform and a conversational AI that users can speak to naturally. RogoTele is a telepresence app to keep users in touch with family or friends back home that takes advantage of the swiveling dock to track movement, while RogoChat is for all other times where message and event notifications will do.

That dock also comes in handy for those photo ops, too, with Rogo moving to frame wide-angle pictures or panoramas — although a panorama of the living room doesn’t seem all that exciting And when the lighting needs to be adjusted beforehand, RogoHome controls smart home appliances with Philips Hue being the lone candidate for now. The iOS, Android, and PC-compatible Rogo is $118 and comes in white or gray, with an expected ship date of January 2016. Its Indiegogo campaign is looking to raise $10,000 by July 31st.

All of these apps come together on the RogoCloud, which acts a private social network for the family in which users can store and share files, alleviating privacy concerns common to platforms like this. That the dock itself charges the smartphone and the platform offers open API for additional functionality is  surely convenient, but leaving the smartphone plugged in without seemingly any way to access or use the rest of the apps on it compromises its mobility. In any case, the idea of the home agent is starting to gather a bit of steam with the Amazon Echo now being more broadly available. JIBO is a similar solution without the smartphone crutch that makes it a superior alternative.


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