This post is to warn future consumers and to let Anki know that they really need to improve their product. I love AI and I own a google home and I love my google home and so I want products like Vector to improve. Just like the gaming community is combatting unfair monetary systems, I want to make Anki aware of the many issues this product has.
It's personality isn't finished and it really doesn't do much Anki states this is an unfinished product and I expected an unfinished product but not at the level I witnessed. When I picture an unfinished product I think of google home. It can still have utility and perform commands well but it's not done as google assistant at it is still improving and future features such as "AI calling" are coming. With Vector, I knew I wasn't getting utility but a cute robot. That's fine but he's not that cute or lifelike to be honest. When his "personality" was his eyes thinking 90% of the time. 5% a squint of happiness when he looks at me and 5% of anger when I wake him up or pick him up.... That's not worth the 250 dollar price tag. I'm sorry.
My google home was 70 and it frankly has 10x the personality this robot has. Google home doesn't have faces but it tells me jokes, tells me stories, tells me the news, has quirky responses to stupid questions I have, and much more. The issue with a personality is that it needs to be a lot more than 2 eyes moving in a lot of different directions. We need to talk to Vector. That needs to be Vector's X-factor over a real pet. You see with a real pet. You can't talk to it and it just has it's behaviors to communicate with you. However, you're looking at a live being. You see it's eyes. It's love. Vector will frankly never beat that because you're just looking at pixels. But if it was able to talk? Really be an assistant. That could change the game for it.
It's too loud and distracting Even at its lowest volume, the tracks are so loud. It's too distracting. As a college student who studies 10 hours a day, I can tolerate some distractions but this was ridiculous. At a point, I just wanted it to sleep all the time and just realized I didn't want it at all to be honest. Sigh.
It doesn't follow commands like 80% of the time This is a big issue. I was using the app while giving commands to see Vector's thoughts. I told it to go back to its charging pad. It does start doing that. Then sees a water bottle. Gets distracted. Then wanders off again. The same thing when I ask it to come here. It was just so unreliable as a robot. Robots follow commands. This is what I expected and I don't think that's too much to ask to be honest. If I type "B" on a laptop, I expect B to appear on the screen. If I ask google to play music, I expect "music" to be played. If I ask vector to go to its charging pad because its being disruptive to my work, I expect it to got to its charging pad.
Was it all bad? I won't lie. It made me feel. I felt genuinely sad writing this review and putting him back in the box to be returned. The last time he closed his eyes as I turned him off made me feel bad. But that's it to be honest. He wasn't even that fun the first 5 minutes. He couldn't even say my name. Also, I had this thought that the people with issues with his voice recognition were just bad at english. No. I use Google home and siri all the time. Mostly google but they understand my commands like 95% of the time. Vector? Maybe 20-30% of the time. I was born and raised in the US and am a native English speakers.
Overall? This product needs a LOT of improvement. This is not a finished product. Not even close. When I expect an unfinished product, I expect it to have at least one thing it is good at so I can keep myself interested in it until improvement come. However, this wasn't the case. Voice Recognition? 20-30% recognition. Follow through on commands? No. It gets too distracted. Personality? Two pixelated eyes isn't enough. At least talk to me.
I'm frankly very disappointed in this product because I was so excited for it. I was even distracted while doing work and studying in wait for it and it just wasn't good. RIP the exam I studied for on Friday...
As a college student, money is tight. I am willing to spend money on things that make me happy and destress like google home. However, 200 dollars for a robot that is distracting, doesn't listen, gets distracted easily, and doesn't even have much personality to be honest. I felt conned. Honestly.