SmartBeings beats Amazon to market with WooHoo, a smart home hub with touchscreen

SmartBeings Inc., a Silicon Valley-based startup, has launched a Kickstarter Inc. campaign for WooHoo, an interactive smart home hub that uses artificial intelligence to simplify the smart home.

The $89 WooHoo combines a touchscreen display, facial and voice recognition and 360-degree rotation HD camera into a smart home hub. Amazon.com Inc. is also reportedly working on a high-end voice-activated speaker, which will include a seven-inch touchscreen that will launch in early 2017. Since being released in November 2014, the company has sold 5.1 million Amazon Echo units according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

SmartBeings reached its initial $30,000 Kickstarter goal for its WooHoo device in 24 hours. At the time of writing, the company has raised $38,894 from 139 backers with 43 days still to go. Stretch goals for the WooHoo Kickstarter campaign include camera add-ons for covering multiple rooms using the same tower and third-party app download functionality.

The WooHoo will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017, which runs Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas. In November, SmartBeings received the CES Innovation Award, presented at CES Unveiled in New York City, for its smart home hub.

Here’s a look at the WooHoo smart hub:

What is WooHoo?

woohoo-device

Most smart home hubs, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, only allow you to interact with your voice. The cloud-based software powered WooHoo combines a variety of features into one device. The smart home hub includes a 7-inch touchscreen, a 13MP HD camera with 360-degree rotation, facial and voice recognition and a patent-pending Spatial Sound System.  

The WooHoo comes with infrared night vision and motion detection. Buyers can choose from a range of five colors, including white, black, pink, red and blue. The device can either be placed on a counter or mounted to a wall.

What can the WooHoo do?

woohoo-facial-recognition

  • Natural language processing capabilities: WooHoo’s natural language processing capabilities allow you to talk naturally when giving the smart home hub instructions.
  • Built-in integrations: The WooHoo comes with preloaded integrations with Nest, Echo and various other devices.
  • Control various devices: You can use the WooHoo to set your thermostat, prepare your coffee, book an Uber, lock and unlock your doors, listen to music and more.
  • Security: With its infrared night vision and motion detection system, the WooHoo will send an alert to your phone if there is a disturbance.
  • Facial recognition: Allows for identification and personalization of WooHoo features.
  • Touchscreen: The Android-based touchscreen system allows you to see the status of your home, your devices and who is in your home. You can also use the touchscreen for video calls to friends and family.
  • Smartphone app: You can also control all of WooHoo’s features from the smartphone app.

Check out the WooHoo in action in the video below:

Price and availability

You can preorder a WooHoo for the early bird price of $49, which includes a 12-month subscription to WooHoo’s Smart Home Platform Service. The normal retail price for the WooHoo will be $89 with a monthly $9 fee for the subscription service.

The rumored Amazon Echo speaker with touchscreen will likely cost more than the current Echo, which costs $180, but Amazon doesn’t have a monthly subscription service.

If you preorder your WooHoo on Kickstarter, you will receive delivery in May 2017.

Images via SmartBeings