The ubiquitous computer (or Ubi for short) is an always-on, voice-activated, Wi-Fi-connected computer that listens for vocal questions and commands from a user, and responds in a synthesized voice or via multi-colored LED status indicator lights
Ubi uses voice recognition technology to listen for plain language commands, responding to requests in a synthesized voice or offering simple status updates using the multi-colored LED indicator lights
There's a USB port to the side to physically connect (or charge) external devices or pen drive storage and a 3.5mm audio out jack above
To the front, a power on/off button, stereo speakers and an omni-directional microphone
Ubi plugs right into the mains and remains powered on, always listening and always ready to tell you what you need to know
From HAL 9000 in Arthur C Clarke's Space Odyssey science fiction saga to Eddie and Deep Thought from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, or even Dr. Theopolis from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, voice interaction with computers was very much the stuff of science fiction when I was growing up. These days, of course, I can use my voice to tell an iPod touch to change music or get convincingly beaten in a TV game show by IBM's Watson but when shopping for a new computer, available options still depend on physical touch for input and visuals for output. The folks behind the ubiquitous computer (or Ubi for short) are hoping to change that by launching an affordable, unobtrusive and useful little box that's always ready and waiting to tell you what you need to know.
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