In 1998 Sony introduced the Aibo robotic puppy. It cost over $1,500 and was marketed as an "entertainment robot." In the early 2000s I received a loaner and my kids loved it for 3 days, sort of liked it for another 3 days, and ignored it for the remainder of the two-week loan period. When I boxed it up to return it, they suddenly loved it again. Sony discontinued Aibo in 2006.
Eleven years later, Aibo is back, and it looks a lot friskier and more responsive than the original. Will the upgraded version manage to squeeze a couple of additional days of love from kids?
From The Verge:
A lot has happened in the world of tech since Aibo dogs were last on sale, and the new model accordingly has some changes. There’s an app called My Aibo that is used to access settings, view photos taken from the dog’s camera, and download additional “tricks” from a store. Aibo also now requires a subscription, like SoftBank’s Pepper, running 2,980 yen a month (about $26) for a minimum of three years. This gives you Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, cloud backup, and access to the app’s features.
Also for 2,980 yen, Sony is selling this bone accessory called “Aibone.” Yes.
The new Aibo is available to pre-order in Japan today and will go on sale on January 11th, 2018; there aren't any plans yet to release it outside of Sony's homeland. It costs 198,000 yen, or about $1,700, as well as the monthly subscription — but what price can you put on cloud-powered robot companionship?