There was a surprise at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) when Apple CEO Tim Cook called up a tiny robotics start up on the stage. No one other than Boris Sofman, the chief executive of Anki took the stand and demonstrated an Anki Drive. It looked like a toy car as per the video above and it is the first product of this company.
This reminded me of Uganda’s very own Fundi robotics company. I have seen some demonstrations from the CEO Solomon King and watching the above video made me think “yes we got something, almost like that in Uganda.”
Watching these cars I could see what apple saw, smart cars, actually very smart cars. But the more I watched than the questions started flowing in like; does the world need these toys? can robots replace humans? Also why is Apple so happy as a child who has seen candy with this technology? It has been speculated upon after all and actually somewhere in America the robots are bosses.
Research led me to Gizmondo where ADAM CLARK ESTES who also had almost similar concerns was asking almost similar questions. From him I learnt that Anki had three founders, Mark Palatucci, Hanns Tappeiner and Sofman. From Palatucci, Adam had an interview who told him;
We realized that most of everything we worked on in robotics and AI was just being used in government projects, very little was being used in consumer products, and we saw the opportunity to take a lot of what we were learning in school and bring it to people and their daily lives.”
With the above statement I saw Solomon King’s vision;
To create a place where passionate African children can learn, grow and experiment with machines, gadgets and technology with no obligations and an environment that fosters collaboration on both social and commercial solutions to our technical problems from an African perspective in people’s everyday lives for development and improvement of lives.
But why cars? Palatucci told Adam that;
Cars have a cross-generational appeal which makes them even more appealing, though, is the fact that they learn and evolve. When you buy the cars they’re going to be very different, they have personalities.”
So why is Apple happy about this?
The answer lies in the new version of iOS 7 Read… where Apple wants to join you in your living room, your life experiences like iTunes’ supported Tv shows. It is looking at taking over your living room and everything around you. Though I have seen this before, with Samsung. Samsung is a household band, from TVs to fridges to phones.
With that, Anki is looked at as the gateway to this development and Anki is happy that it has a big firm behind it and supporting it’s technologies.
Share your views, Do you think Apple has a future with this kind of technology at it’s hands? Should it’s competition have reason to worry?