ixi-play the robotic owl wants to teach your kids
By Ben Coxworth
October 2, 2013
Remember the mechanical owl from the original version of Clash of the Titans? Well, even if you don't, here's your chance to own something kind of like it. It's called ixi-play, and it's an interactive robotic owl that's designed to both entertain and educate your children.
Made by Dutch tech start-up WittyWorX, ixi-play is equipped with a multi-touch sensor on top of its head, dual microphones, dual video displays (the owl's animated eyes), a 720p video camera, a dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor, plus a tweeter and woofer that allow it to talk. It runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, has 1 GB of internal memory (which is expandable via an SD card slot), and is both Wi-Fi and USB-enabled.
Also, importantly for the children using it, its head turns and its flexible rubber body allows it to wiggle around.
A number of apps are available or in the works, that let youngsters play games with ixi-play. These games involve technologies such as face, color and voice recognition (on the part of the owl), and are reportedly designed to boost the player's development in areas such as math, language-learning, spatial awareness and motor skills.
The robot can also simply be used to keep the kids entertained, in place of a less-interactive TV or a too-busy/burnt-out parent.
Additionally, ixi-play is able to serve as a baby monitor. Using its camera, mics and Wi-Fi, parents can check in on infants via their iOS or Android mobile device.
WittyWorX is now in the process of crowd-funding the commercial development of ixi-play, and is taking pre-orders. A payment of US$299 will put you on the list to get one, when and if shipments begin late next year.
The video below illustrates some of the owl's capabilities.