A French start-up plans to launch a home entertainment computer able to move on its own and transform any wall into a huge projected screen. Jim Drury reports.
STORY: This is Keecker, a robot that promises to re-define the home entertainment market. It's the brainchild of Pierre Lebeau, a former Google product manager who was tired of being limited to a fixed screen and sound system when watching a movie or surfing the web. So he designed Keecker to follow him around. SOUNDBITE (English) CEO AND FOUNDER OF FRENCH START-UP KEECKER PIERRE LEBEAU SAYING: "I came with the idea of a computer with a projector inside and a great sound system and a camera, something that can move and go to any room to give me a kind of TV like experience but anywhere I want without the cables and the complexity." The mini-bot has a high-resolution projector and several speakers that project 360 degree surround sound. It also has a panoramic fish eye camera, allowing owners to check on their apartment while they're away. The finished product will be able to navigate rooms without bumping into furniture, using a combination of sensor data and camera feeds. But for now, Keecker will need some help to climb stairs. SOUNDBITE (English) CEO AND FOUNDER OF FRENCH START-UP KEECKER PIERRE LEBEAU SAYING: "We would like to call it now a home pod which is like an IPOD but instead of the 'I' version it's the home version, so the home pod…. it's like the first computer that was designed for the house in mind, for a collective use as opposed to a personal computer, this is a kind of a collective computer." Lebeau says the system will only operate wirelessly, controlled via Android or iOS apps. Keecker will cost around 5,000 dollars when it comes to market next year, a small price Lebeau says for a new robotic family member.