VentureBeat reports that Temi, a New York-based robotics startup, is going all in on its new Temi robo-assistant after securing $21m in Series B funding ($83m to date).
The round was led by Alibaba’s former chief technology officer, John Wu, as well as the Hong Kong-based wellness company Ogawa, which will partner with Temi to help market and distribute bots around the world.
‘When I was a kid, we had to strap Alexa to a skateboard!’
This ain’t your granny’s robo-assistant. The best way to describe the Temi-bot is an Amazon Echo connected to a plastic torso on wheels. It stands 3 feet tall with a 10-inch tablet for a head, and is equipped with facial recognition to identify and track you.
Temi connects to Google’s AI tools so it can give its users hands-free video chat, allow them to watch TV, or listen to music while roaming around the house… kinda like a TV that moves. Super necessary.
Telepresence: 2019’s new buzzword
Facetime on an iPhone is considered telepresence, so it isn’t exactly new, but Temi’s robo-butler is the perfect example of a long-developed submarket finally gettin’ in the mix while the gettin’s growin’.
In 2017, the overall telepresence robot market was valued at $129m; by 2023, it’s expected to reach $312m. But its core growth comes from an increasing demand in the healthcare industry — not for home-bots that can field Spotify requests.