Bosch announces plans for personal assistants, connected devices

Bosch's new smart car concept comes with cameras that detect who the driver is and adjusts user preference automatically.
Bosch's new smart car concept comes with cameras that detect who the driver is and adjusts user preference automatically.PHOTO: BOSCH

LAS VEGAS - German engineering and electronics company Bosch revealed updated plans for its smart home ecosystem and connected devices ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, joining the fray in an increasingly crowded market.

At a press conference on Wednesday (Jan 4), Dr Werner Struth, a member of the company's management board, said the company is focusing on personal assistants, seeing it as the next step in connected devices.

"We want to offer smart products and services that act as assistants and partners to individuals," he said. 

He announced a new assistant robot, named Kuri, developed by its United States-based subsidiaries, Mayfield Robotics. The 50cm, oval-shaped robot is able to roll around the house and performs as a home companion. 

It comes with hi-resolution cameras in its "eyes" and is fitted with microphones  and Bluetooth-enabled speakers which allows it to send information to its user's smartphone. Sale of the robot is expected to begin in the United States by Christmas 2017. 

Bosch is also unveiling a new show car concept at CES 2017. Dr Struth said the company expects vehicles to become a user's personal assistant and companion in the near future, given how cars are growing increasingly smarter and more connected to the Internet. 

The show car concept at CES is a smart car software which adds more electronic features to cars.

A new feature is the Drive Monitor Camera, which uses facial recognition software to detect the car's driver and adjusts things like temperature, steering wheel location and mirrors to the driver's preference.

lesterh@sph.com.sg