This Week’s Must-Haves: A Robotic Assistant That Gets to Know Your Family

This week, the Adweek staff is highlighting a robotic family assistant, a hoverboard that won't spontaneously combust, Oakley's Olympian-worthy sunglasses and more. Take a look!


Jibo, $749

Billed as "the world's first social robot," Jibo was designed by MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to be a friendly home assistant that gets to "know" your family members and their personalities—and even develops his own. Similar to Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri, he can look up the weather, set appointments, display recipes and more. Thanks to built-in facial, voice and body-language recognition, Jibo always knows who's talking to him (and what kind of mood they're in), so he can make sure to give the right messages and reminders to the right people at the right time. He's also an excellent family photographer—just tell Jibo to follow specific faces around the room, or let him automatically snap pictures whenever he sees a group of people posing—and can even help the kids learn a thing or two by reading interactive storybooks with them.

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Segway MiniPro, $798

Looking for a pint-sized personal transporter that isn't prone to spontaneous combustion? Segway's new MiniPro is a scaled-down version of the original that offers a hands-free ride that you can control either via app or by leaning against the padded knee bar. Reach speeds of up to 10 mph and distances of up to 14 miles on a single charge, indoors or out.

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Oakley Path Prizm Field Green Fade Edition, $190

If you watched the Rio Olympics, chances are you saw a top athlete like Bubba Watson or Kerri Walsh sporting Oakley's limited-edition Green Fade sunglasses. Each pair features Prizm lenses designed to fine-tune the wearer's vision for specific activities by filtering certain colors. The Field version, seen here, boosts contrast to make light-color objects like golf balls or baseballs stand out against grass, dirt or sky.

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Hiku, $59

Too busy to shop for groceries? Let the Hiku smart kitchen assistant take care of it. When you run out of something, simply scan the product's barcode or tell Hiku to add it to your mobile shopping list. You can then send your grocery list to Walmart or Peapod to have everything ready for pickup at a local store or even sent directly to your door.

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Artiphon Instrument 1, $399

Don't let its small size fool you: The Artiphon packs a band's worth of instruments into one streamlined package. Hook it up to your computer, tablet or iPhone to choose from a wide range of sounds, customize the tone, then play its force-sensitive fretboard however you want—set it on the table like a keyboard, hold it like a guitar or place it on your shoulder like a violin.

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Meem Charging Cable, $50 (Android) or $70 (iOS)

Need to back up your smartphone offline? The Meem charging cable makes it easy. Every time you plug in your device, Meem automatically stores your contacts, calendar, messages, photos and more on its PIN-protected built-in memory drive. So even if you can't sync to the cloud, you'll always have a copy of your most important data on hand.

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This story first appeared in the August 22, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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