Violet Nabaztagtag WiFi Rabbit
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- Like a modern cuckoo clock, Nabaztag will speak out the time every hour
- Nabaztag will give you his or her weekly recap -- a breakdown of the time you spent together, and whether it was noteworthy
- Select your favorite MP3 and your Nabaztag will sing it for you when you wake up, or when you go to bed
- Get regular traffic and weather reports for anywhere in the world -- plus you can get headlines read to you in a voice you choose
- Receive financial information as your Nabaztag keeps an eye on the stock market - Get stock quotes and information through voice updates or light signals
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Nabaztagtag is the world's first wireless rabbit. It connects directly to the Internet through your Wi-Fi connection and adds a new level of animation to online life. Receiving information from the online world doesn't have to be limited to a monitor anymore! Just connect your Nabaztag to your PC and you'll have a pet that reads your news headlines, tracks stocks for you, even tells you how the traffic and weather are doing. Your Nabaztag can even be programmed to do all sorts of things -- what you decide to make it do, is up to you. It's a great combination of form and function. Your Nabaztag has its own moods and personality - It'll have its own random ideas and say random things Don't sit in front of the computer waiting for an email or IM - When you receive a message, Nabaztag will warn you Feeling the need to stretch? Your Nabaztag will do T'ai Chi with you When it's time for bed, you can tell it to catch some rest -- it may give you a sleepy goodnight back You can even receive Nabcasts -- audio programs created by other Nabaztag lovers & broadcasts directly to them. Hear other Nabaztag lovers' favorite music, thoughts, voices and more
Top customer reviews
I can't get it to stop waking me up in the middle of the night with random blabber. Yes, it tells the weather, and the time - but I could have gotten that from another electronic device for less money. The support is abhorrent - the site is down rather often, and is not user friendly. My daughter was so excited about getting this - she kept telling me about it for months. I read all of the literature, and I too was excited. Alas, it has been a disappointment at best.
Technically, Amazon should have cataloged this item as a straight electronic, because although Tag/Tags appeal to children, they really are geared towards older teens and adults. I doubt a young child would care much for the CNN RSS feeds, and I doubt mom and dad would like perfect strangers contacting their children via bunny (there are parental controls on the tag/tag interface, but they're easily undone by toggling a check mark).
So what IS Tag/tag? He's a bunny that reads the news, tells time, wakes you up in the morning, says goodnight at bedtime, tells you when your email arrives and allows you to IM any bunny owner anywhere. He tells the weather, the air quality, and can tell you about your stock portfolio.
He also will soon be able to "smell", using an RFID chip, and will be able to do predetermined (by you) actions when a chipped item is held up to his nose. However, as of 4/11 this feature isn't activated yet.
Set up: Setting up Tag/Tag is fairly straightforward. (heh). If you have a wireless b/g network and a computer equipped with a wireless adapter (only needed for configuration) you should be good to go. However, things don't always go as planned attaching Tag/tag. My wireless network, for instance, wouldn't let Tag/Tag connect until I tweaked the settings (router should be channel 11, and it should be an open system.) So what should have only taken about fifteen minutes to set up took about two hours while I tweaked settings. I personally like doing stuff like that, but if you're not inclined to that sort of thing, then Tag/Tag might not be for you.
Registration: Done during set up. However, my Tag/Tag was a twin, and needed to get its serial number straightened out by the fine folks at Violet before I could make him do anything I wanted him to do. It takes about 48 hours for a response from Violet, but they are courteous and attentive, and did fix the problem pleasantly.
Interface: Tag/tag is a work of art. He's cute, modern, and did I mention cute? The website where you program Tag/tag from? Not so much. It's clunky, slow to load on DSL, and still partially in French in the English section (don't despair, even if you don't speak French, it's easy enough to figure out what they mean). It's a little crabby from time to time about what browser you use. It works, though. Just make sure you have a connection and processor to handle it.
Features: This thing is cool. It reads me my RSS feeds. It tells me the weather. I have gotten messages from all over the world. It goes to sleep at night so I don't have a bunny singing to me at 2 am. It wakes up in the morning by itself. There are some complaints with the slowness of Violet's servers (and the memories of the server crash of '06), but I haven't really noticed a problem. He does buffer a lot on the radio setting, but that could have just as much to do with the network traffic in my home as it does at Violet.
Case in point-- I hooked up the bunny to a public opennab (the open source alternative to using Violet's servers) server, and it took him about as long to respond to a request as it did via the Violet site. That, and waiting a minute for an email to be read to you by a plastic bunny isn't a great inconvenience.
Other notes: Violet offers subscription services. They're fairly inexpensive, and offer more personalized RSS feeds and a wider range of messaging alternatives. They're currently free till April 14, seeing as Violet is still getting the kinks out of the services. Your bunny is pretty functional even without the extra $6 a month. There are a LOT of standard RSS feeds that your bunny has on the free plan.
Another word about buying one for a child under the age of 15 or so: I am not a parent, but I wouldn't. Tag/tag is a fairly delicate piece of electronic equipment, and he is a social networking tool. You can blacklist Tag/tags, and you can implement parental controls, but there's still the chance that your kid could run into unsavory characters (most of the people I've met are very nice, and in their late 20s-40s). The only thing I think a kid under 15 would find interesting on Tag/tag anyway are the IM capabilities and possibly the email alert. Unless your child is really into the weather report, Slashdot, and NPR.
Unfortunately, these servers are frequently down or not fully functioning, often making for a very frustrating user experience.
Good news: Cute, fun applications, and some useful ones too! For example, my rabbit currently lets me knows the hour, when an email with a certain phrase arrives in my normal email account, serves as an alarm clock, says cute things at random, and gives me a quick synopsis of the next day's weather. It can also receive and speak messages and play internet radio stations (at pretty low fidelity). The rabbit is also set to wake up at certain times in the morning, and go to sleep at night, so as not to disturb people. All of these are currently free services provided by the maker.
In addition, each morning at a specified time I get a more detailed local weather forecast and route-specific traffic reports for my two routes to work. These are customized applications I wrote that take advantage of the documented, limited web-based api (application program interface).
What's not to like? Well, 1/2 the time some or all of the services aren't functioning, and the company can't even be bothered (with rare exception) to post that they are having server problems. When this happens, you have a $150 cute paperweight.
Conclusions and recommendations: This is a cool but very quirky gadget. If and when Violet gets their problems sorted out, it will be a fantastic geek toy, and attractive to many others as well. For now, if you do some programming and would enjoy playing around with the api and creating custom services, and you can put up with frequent downtime, it's worth the money. For others, I couldn't recommend it.
P.S. To learn what you can do with the API, and how it works, do a web search for "nabaztag api". (Amazon doesn't allow URL's to go in reviews) Also, there are open source examples of 3rd party custom API applications floating around in several computer languages.