This project's funding goal was not reached on July 27, 2013.
About this project
Do you miss a smiling face saying hi! when you get home? Are you cooking the best of recipes but you forgot an ingredient and your hands are too dirty to look it up in Google? No one tells you to get your coat when you are leaving home and it is cold outside? Fiona does all these things for you and many more!!
We want to hear your voice
We love co-creating, we want your essence in every Fiona device. We have thought of different uses for Fiona and we would like you to rate them. Drop us your list in the comment section and also share your new ideas with all of us! You will need to back with $1 to make your voice heard.
What would you love Fiona to do?
- Games for stimulating children's development
- Tell you the weather forecast
- Control you home automation system
- Check the traffic when you need to take your car
- Be a storyteller for your children
- Tell you the stock market news
- Make calls
- Read the tweets on your Twitter
- Work as an alarm clock
- Read the headlines of your favorite news papers
- Tell you the appointments on your agenda
- Play your favorite music
Share your thoughts with us! And now continue reading to know more about Fiona!
Always on, use your voice to interact with your world.
FIONA lets you interact with your home and connected devices through your voice. Using natural voice commands you can keep your hands free and control the things in your home by speaking to them.
FIONA is your virtual personal assistant for your home
Imagine a world where your electronics are an extension of your senses. Use your voice to interact with your world and simplify daily tasks. We are connecting FIONA to the top home automation systems, plugging it into your wifi devices and building an open infrastructure to make FIONA smarter everyday.
FIONA is built on an open source artificial intelligence platform which allows anyone to build new interactions, voice commands and connections to other devices. Developers and designers everywhere can help make FIONA smarter!
Your voice has never been this powerful
FIONA lets you talk to the world around you and the world responds directly to your voice. By connecting FIONA to your home and wifi devices you can keep your hands free and just ASK for simple tasks to be completed.
- Make your life easier by asking FIONA to open the garage door and turn off the lights in the house as you leave without lifting a finger.
- Keep your day on track by asking FIONA to read your schedule while you make breakfast and drink a cup of coffee that you asked FIONA to brew while you were in the shower.
- Save precious time by asking FIONA to turn on the oven and call a friend to ask for their cooking advice, without setting down your knife or burning the garlic.
- Live a hands-free life by asking FIONA to transcribe and send emails, text messages, or even tweets without picking up your phone, turning on your computer or stopping whatever you are already doing. Just ask FIONA.
FIONA learns and makes your life easier
FIONA’s artificial brain learns about you and your behavior. The more you talk to FIONA the more it understands about you. FIONA learns your daily routine and can use its intelligence to automate the things you do regularly. FIONA can make suggestions about how to save you time by optimizing the things you do every day.
Crowd sourcing the creation of an artificial mind
FIONA is the name of your virtual personal assistant and is also the name of the underlying artificial intelligence platform. We built FIONA to enable the crowdsourcing of an artificial mind. FIONA’s intelligence is open for developers around the world to build new interactions, behaviors and connections which we are calling Sparks.
Developers can create new sparks by taking advantage of natural language features, camera interactions and custom avatar design. FIONA can learn to respond to human gestures, listen for queues to offer information and change its appearance to suit you.
We will be opening up our Beta community to new developers and we can’t wait to see what amazing new creations you can come up with!
Your connected home
We are starting by integrating FIONA into homes and connected devices. Since FIONA is always on, you can talk and FIONA will listen. Your home is directly connected to your voice when you want it. No need to be tied to phone when you are relaxing on the couch or interrupt what you’re doing to use the universal controls in the other room.
FIONA start with the ability to replace touch interfaces for interacting with your home and appliances. Any connected device can be controlled with your voice to turn on lights, pre-heat your oven or turn on the stereo. We are also including functions that would normally require you to turn on your computer or dial your phone. FIONA can dictate an email, send a text message or start a video call without you having to lift a finger.
We need your help to get FIONA into homes and keep making it smarter
Grab an EARLY ADOPTER PACKAGE and get the best possible deal on your FIONA unit for your home.
Showing up fashionably late to the party? No problem! You are a smart human, select the HUMAN INTELLIGENCE PACKAGE and get a discount on FIONA with no monthly fees for life!
To outfit multiple rooms in your house to respond to the sound of your voice, choose the CONNECTED HOME PACKAGE and get a FIONA base unit with two room extenders to use FIONA all over your house!
The story of Adele Robots
We have been building intelligent robots for years. The goal has always been to improve peoples lives. Our robots are built to share in the human experience. They understand what humans are feeling by paying attention to human behavior and language. Meet Tico on our youtube page. Tico has helped improve their lives of children, the elderly and people with disabilities by performing simple tasks, providing companionship and enhancing education.
To get our robots to really accelerate their learning we needed more interactions with humans. We needed an open platform to allow more people to plug in and develop their own solutions to everyday problems.
This is where FIONA was born! An open community to crowdsource the creation of an artificial mind! FIONA’s physical manifestation as your virtual home assistant is the next step to bringing the power of artificial intelligence into peoples lives.
FIONA is a platform to bring what we have learned from years of testing to a larger audience. We want FIONA to make it easier for people to control their electronic life and simplify daily tasks, starting in their home. We hope FIONA can help people all over the world create a new relationship with their electronic life. As FIONA continues to learn, more possibilities will open for robots to improve the lives of humans.
We love to share with community what the community give to us, so we have join the kickingirforward initiative (http://kickingitforward.org) and will return to the community 5% of the profit of the project as new support for other projects. Let's roll on!
Where we are, where we are going.
We are at the point where we have already developed a platform that enables the integration of AI features to connect with services for weather reporting, video calling, home automation,and any open architecture The software can also use hardware features like camera motion tracking, voice commands, voice and facial recognition to control third party services and products.
The voice interactions we are demonstrating in the video are already functioning and we are working on the integration with home automation products. We need your help to finish the hardware design and
- Design the network of microphones to get the maximum performance from any point in your home for the state of the art speech recognition system.
- Develop the integration with home automation services. We plan to use the feedback from our campaign backers to determine which legacy systems are most in demand for integration. We plan to integrate with the SmartThings API first.
- Create english responses to voice commands. Our software already allows users to enter english commands, we need to translate and add new responses from our library.
- Design a beautiful case for the underlying android tablet and integrate a wide angle lense and smart microphones for a standalone tablet system.
and of course, we need to manufacture the home FIONA units and deliver them to you, this means:
- Buying components and materials
- Building production tooling
- Building prototypes and engineering samples
- Manufacturing services
- Safety and agency testing fees
The core technology of Fiona relies on an online platform intended to create virtual assistants. Their strength comes up from a collaborative approach to speed up the creation of artificial intelligence. We have developed a framework that allows anyone to contribute with their knowledge (executable knowledge in fact!) in artificial intelligence and human machine interaction, with the ultimate goal of creating an artificial mind.
We have contacted universities, technological centers and geeks all over the world, and right now there are more than 900 people registered in our platform and counting! If you think that means 900 potential developers is not that bad!
We call each of the contributions a Spark. But all the Sparks don’t need to be so “brainy”, there are really simple Sparks, which combined with others, can give really cool new functionalities to Fiona. Just think of the thousands of web 2.0 services that could be integrated in a really easy way with Fiona!
So, are you still looking for some kind of magic? Here it is, graphically, how the Fiona device works in the real world:
The Fiona device requires from an Internet connection to get access to Fiona services and third party-services, like traffic or weather information, twitter, google calendar, and so on. Fiona could be integrated with virtually any home automation system based on IP protocols. We are currently working on integrating Smarthings which has been a successfully funded Kickstarter project.
And now, how is Fiona integrated with each service? We just have to develop a Spark that communicates with the webservice and connect the Spark with the rest of the the Sparks that make up the virtual assistant. Here is an example of the configuration of an avatar:
This is an actual configuration for a virtual assistant integrated with Smart Things system. Each spark connects to others through a set of predefined interfaces. If you want to get deeper into these technical specs, please continue reading on Fiona’s Wiki. Some of the sparks included in this configuration are:
- TTS: Text-To-Speech system, which is a voice synthesizer and gives your assistant the ability of talking.
- Character Embodiment 3D: This Sparks represents how the avatar looks like. You will be able to choose between some different characters and we are currently partnering with The 3D Avatar Store so you can even have an assistant with your face.
- Eye Contact: Moves the eyes of the avatar towards the user from the information coming from the face tracker system.
- Face Tracker: Identifies people where they are using the device's camera and tells the system where she is.
- ASR: Automatic Speech Recognition system. This is the first step to understand what you are speaking. This spark converts speech signal into text for further processing.
- NLP: Natural language processor. It gets the text coming from your voice, analyses and fixes some errors coming from the ASR spark. It also identifies when you are speaking to the device (gaining attention from the system starting your command with the word FIONA) and translating it into a machine command.
- Petition Management: This spark receives commands from the Natural Language Processor, and selects and appropriate service to handle the request and perform the required action.
- Smart Things: Just as a Spark action example, it integrates Fiona with Smart Things’ API, and sends commands to your automated devices plugged through Smart Things hub.
Here is our timeline for putting FIONA into your hands:
- Develop the integration with home automation services.
- Sign agreements with manufacturing partners.
- Finalize the design of the devices.
- Building prototypes and engineering samples
- Final stage of design and certification process for Fiona unit, and voice recognition unit.
- Certification completed for Fiona units
- Injection molding and final packaging design
- Volume manufacturing of Fiona units
FEBRUARY - MARCH
- Distribution - Kickstarter backers get their Fiona Units
All of the design work will be completed by our team in Asturias (Spain) and the supply chain and manufacturing work will be handled in Hong Kong. We will be working with a manufacturer and vendors based mostly in Shenzhen or Dongguan, China.
Risks and challenges
Any hardware project may face challenges in the manufacturing process due to materias, labor or facilities. Software integration and testing at scale is a challenge we are excited to tackle. We have been building for the opportunity to release a large scale version of FIONA with thousands of users and we will do whatever it takes to bring FIONA to life in your home.
We are specifically working on using the kickstarter funds to address the following challenges.
• Design the network of microphones to get the maximum performance from any point in your home for the state of the art speech recognition system.
• Finish developing the integration with home automation services. We plan to use the feedback from our campaign backers to determine which legacy systems are most in demand for integration. We plan to integrate with the SmartThings API.
• Create english responses to voice commands. Our software already allows users to enter english commands, we need to translate and add new responses from our library.
• Design a beautiful case for the underlying android tablet and integrate a wide angle lense and smart microphones for a standalone tablet system.
• and of course, we need to manufacture the home FIONA units and deliver them to you!
As experienced robotics engineers we have built both the hardware and software to control complete robots using the same underlying software system that powers FIONA. We have worked on these products for years and are uniquely qualified to complete FIONA.
But of course, there are somethings we worry about:
• Manufacturing and assembling. To bring costs down, we are sourcing several of the components in China. We have worked before with manufacturing partners, but have pending final assembly process. The Fiona Unit has been designed so that the assembly is very simple, and we will work closely with our collaborators to build a high quality product.
• Testing and Certification. Testing will be done before sending the product. There could be a risk of delay while the product is subjected to testing and final certification
• Logistics may be another challenge depending on the geographically distribution of backers.
• Integrating a good microphone that gives Fiona precise information about what the user is asking for.
We will maintain excellent communication with backers, post updates on the project, and respond to all questions in a timely manner. We'll be using Facebook, Twitter, Fiona's website, and Kickstarter to keep everyone informed of the progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We will love to support every language our backers speak. Unfortunately we cannot grant this so our compromise is to get at least English and Spanish. After finishing the Kickstarter campaign we are going to contact with all backers to ask them which language they prefer. (English or Spanish)
- (40 days)