Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Telepresence Robot Beam+ Targets Consumers, Slashing Price To $1,000 From $16,000

Jan 15 2014, 3:21pm CST | by

Telepresence Robot Beam+ Targets Consumers, Slashing Price To $1,000 From $16,000

Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

It’s been argued that telepresence robots like Beam were among the creepiest gadgets at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, roving tablets on sticks and wheels that allowed Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill to navigate the event from her kitchen and narrowly avoid driving over people’s feet.

Today startup Suitable Technologies is dismissing the skeptics and bringing its Beam to the mainstream. It’s released the smaller and lighter Beam+ for $995 for the first 1,000 units, and $1,995 thereafter — a big drop from the $16,000 it charges to enterprise customers for the original Beam —  targeting consumers and business travelers who want a novel way to keep in touch with loved ones.

That also pits it directly against the telepresence robotics company Double Robotics, which makes a $2,500 mount and wheels that, with an iPad, can be driven around offices by remote workers. The Beam+ is smaller than the original Beam and looks a bit more like the Double, except it has a third wheel for stability.

Suitable has a video on its site to show use cases for its Beam+: a grandmother’s disembodied face cooing over her grandkids’ drawings from the Beam+ screen, a business woman eating Chinese food in her hotel room while her Beam+ sidles up to the dinner table with her partner and kids. Suitable suggests using it to tuck your kids into bed from far away, and the 3x digital zoom camera to read the text of a favorite book.

The idea of interacting with people in a freer and more mobile way sounds great on paper, but it’s questionable whether consumers are ready to buy and use a device like this in real life. I’ve tried a Beam myself when I interviewed Suitable’s founder and CEO Scott Hassan for a story last year on the Beam, and found the interface straightforward and the device very easy to use.

Companies I spoke to who used the original Beam often said that while it was awkward at first to use, office colleagues got to used to seeing the gadget being driven around the office.

It may just be a matter of time before the “creepiness” factor wears off for consumers too.

Here’s Suitable’s video pitch for the Beam+:


/>

Source: Forbes

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Kelly Osbourne and others send “Get Well” Wishes to Joan Rivers
Kelly Osbourne and others send “Get Well” Wishes to Joan Rivers
Kelly Osbourne and several other celebs sent “get well” wishes to a bedridden Joan Rivers. They all wished her a quick recovery from the predicament she was in currently.
 
 
Apple Partnering With American Express On New iPhone Payments System
Apple Partnering With American Express On New iPhone Payments System
Apple’s new payments system is expected to let iPhone 6 owners use their phones in place of credit cards, debit cards or cash
 
 
Motorola Moto X+1 alleged live photos leaked ahead of September 4 launch
Motorola Moto X+1 alleged live photos leaked ahead of September 4 launch
Motorola is expected to take the wraps off the successor to the Moto X and the Moto G, and the Moto 360 smartwatch.
 
 
Microsoft teases its Lumia 730 &#039;selfie phone&#039; again
Microsoft teases its Lumia 730 'selfie phone' again
Microsoft will unveil a selfie phone this week.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.