Originally a Kickstarter project, Ubi is a ubiquitous computing device. Designed to plug into your wall and remain dormant until you talk to it, this little computer can perform searches, wake you up, and even sense environmental conditions in every room.
The Ubi costs $219 to pre-order and should ship in early 2013. Founded by a Toronto team, Amin Abdossalami, Mahyar Fotoohi, and Leor Grebler, it’s an answer to the problem of ubiquitous computing. Because it’s always on and depends on the cloud to handle queries and various applications, it can become a sort of background computer for users with larger homes. It can also double as a thermostat, baby monitor, and intercom.
The Ubi can also monitor other Ubis in your house, notifying you when a light goes on, for example. It works with smartphones and tablets to create a networked system of mini computers that work together with other applications, including the Nest thermostat.
While I’m not completely certain these guys are the folks to pull this off – getting the ubiquity into ubiquitous computing is very hard and Samsung, LG, HTC, and Apple are all trying – I’m really excited to see how these things fare. I hope that one day soon I can hold my head up high and say in a stout, Starfleet-inflected voice: “Computer, identify malfunction immediately!”
And Ubi will say: “You’re the malfunction, John. You are.”