Thanks to chat bots, location aware smartphone apps and more, our homes are becoming smarter all the time. Mattel’s Nabi Aristotle, a new set of devices and services announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, is taking the smart home concept to a place that it has yet to go to. Personal assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri aim to make everyday tasks in your home office and living room a bit easier with voice search and other commands. The Nabi Aristotle aims to make the nursery more intelligent.
The Nabi Aristotle reveal came just days before the start of CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every year, companies flock to the show to announce new toys that they hope will make life easier for parents. In recent years, smart diapers and baby sensors have been on display at the show in droves. Nabi Aristotle rides on a new craze. The company seems to have made the perfect Amazon Alexa assistant for parents.
The Nabi Aristotle hub itself looks like a candle, with a red speaker grill. Inside is a Snapdragon 212 processor that allows it to process commands and power its different systems. Mattel wasn’t ready to discuss pricing on the hub just yet, but it plans to start selling the experience sometime this summer.
When you’re out of diapers, you can have Nabi Aristotle order more – plus any other baby products that you might need. Old-fashioned baby monitors wake parents up so that they can sing their children back to sleep. Nabi Aristotle can be set to handle that on its own. It can also turn on lighting. These features can be extended through IFTTT recipes and what Mattel describes as Do This When instructions.
There are two modes for Nabi Aristotle. The Parent Mode is the one that lets parents order more baby supplies. It also lets adults customize how the device interacts with their kids. For example, Mattel says that the assistant can be used to instill manners, like requiring “please” before it accepts a command from a child. Child Mode grows with kids too.
Baby features allow users to track sleeping habits and feeding times. It can act as a night-light and background noise speaker too. When kids get old enough, Nabi Aristotle’s toddler features take over. It offers singalongs, stories and early learning aids.
Kid and tween features are where things really get interesting. These features include compatibility with entertainment units, voice games, foreign language tutoring and music streaming. There’s also built-in homework help.
Microsoft and Silk Labs worked with Mattel to create the system that’s doing all the work behind the scenes. Silk Labs contributed the active intelligence ingredients that lets parents set ways for the device interactive with their kids. Microsoft’s Bing search engine handles questions about parenting. Its Cortana personal assistant will add some features to the artificial intelligence at some point in the future.
As for compatible hardware, Mattel isn’t starting completely from scratch. The Nabi Aristotle will have official add-ons and work with Wemo, Wink, Smart Things, Hue and Zigbee. iHeart Radio, BabyCenter, Little Pim, FEN Learning Tiptap and Silk Labs all have experiences coming that are built on top of the Aristotle SDK that the company also announced. The system will comply to COPPA standards governing children’s privacy. All the communication gets transmitted using 256-bit encryption.