All consumer product manufacturers know that there currently is a market segment which is wealthy and not fully served. Seniors, living in ever greater numbers in Europe, the US, China and Japan provide an amazing market opportunity if you can serve it. Pharmaceutical companies already target this group, and now robot makers are set to join.
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For seniors, companion robots, as well as smart home assistants, can help with calling family, looking up things on the internet or reminding them to take their medicine. Even though there are many more functionalities and this product could be aimed to whatever age group, the latest offering in China comes from Asus and is now presented in a version that is specifically targeted to help lonely seniors. The robot is known as Zenbo and sells in China for $1,000.
It has the same features as Apple’s voice assistant Siri or Amazon’s AI speaker Echo but can also move about on its own two wheels and thus interact with its surroundings.
The provider of this robot, Asus is partnering with various content and service providers to extend its range of services. For example, Koolearn, an online education network based in Beijing, gives it the extra feature of being able to learn an additional language.
Especially for the Chinese release, Asus chairman Mr. Shih Jonney was joined in Beijing by Tencent Cloud’s vice-president Mr. Jingwen Xu. The two companies have been working for six months to prepare the Chinese release.
Mr. Xu: “This is our first collaboration with Asus developing smart home robots. We’ve seen Asus’s capability in researching and developing artificial intelligence for the future.”
The robot is, of course, only the first in a long line of competitors that is believed to be launching in 2018, specifically aimed at helping around the house.