"Emotionally intelligent" robots are starting to gain traction in certain parts of the world, Japan's Pepper robot selling out in a single minute last June will speak to that. The Moodbox mightn't offer the same fully-fledged humanoid companionship as Pepper, but it does bring elements of this into the home in the form of a voice-controlled omnidirectional speaker that plays tunes in response to your emotions.
Moodbox is a wireless, capsule-shaped speaker designed to monitor your mood and then use learning software to select music to suit it. Through a built-in microphone, Moodbox interacts with the user by asking them questions, and then draws on certain attributes of a user's speech such as pitch, energy and speed to inform a learning algorithm.
By doing this day after day, the thinking is that Moodbox will become better attuned to your feelings over time and better equipped to offer a little pick-me-up. Primarily, it is designed to do so through music, with the ability to thoughtfully select songs over Wi-Fi from a library on the user's smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as stream from services such as Pandora and Spotify.
Users can ask Moodbox for music recommendations and through voice control pause, play, skip tracks, adjust the volume, set alarms and request weather information.
Beyond offering a well-timed melody, Moodbox can suggest other things you could do to lift your spirits, and creates a logbook of the user's moods over time which can be accessed via a companion app. This is intended to offer some kind of analysis of how your mood fluctuates, so you can keep track of how different music, events, time of day and even the weather affect your emotional state.
Inside Moodbox are four 1.5-inch tweeters, a 3-inch subwoofer and a set of full spectrum LEDs for ambient lighting. The speaker will automatically select a color to best suit the kind of music it is playing, though users can also manually control this via the app.
The Creators of Moodbox are currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for commercial production, with two models available. The chrome-colored Classic is available for a pledge of US$149, while the golden Premium model with an internal sandblasted coating is available for a pledge of $179. Shipping is slated for August 2016 if all goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.