Adding AI to Cars With Dashbot

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Next Thing announces a simple way to add hands-free smarts to any car-- Dashbot, a voice-controlled AI assistant devices complete with a red LED display reminiscent of KITT from TV's Knight Rider.

DashbothThe Dashbot pairs with smartphones via Bluetooth, and like other connected auto platforms it handles tasks such as text messaging, music control and Google Maps directions. It connects with cars through 3.5mm aux jack, and sips power via either USB or standard 12V cigarette lighter. For customers driving older vehicles Next Thing even offers a "Retro pack," with a tape deck input and FM transmitter.

On the voice control front it also features support for Alexa, the Amazon voice control assistant. An open API allows developers to add compatibility with any number of apps and services, and the Dashbot ships with support for a number of music streaming services, including Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Play Music and Apple Music, among others.

Control of the Dashbot simply involves saying "Dashbot," and the display-free nature of the device means it involves less distractions to drivers. To capture voices it carries a far-field beamforming microphone array and state-of-the-art digital signal processing to ensure voice commands are always recognised, even with loud music in the background.

The Dashbot is currently available on a preorder basis via Kickstarter. Shipments are said to start from July 2017 once the crowdfunding campaign is over.

Go Dashbot