Meet Shimi: From Vinyl to…Robots?

Gone are the days of record players and vinyl. Smart phones and electronic based apps are now the main tool to experience music. Some gadgets are created to enhance quality and others for function and accessibility, while my favorites are the ones just for pure pleasure.

The researchers of Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology have produced Travis, a dancing one-foot-tall smartphone dock, described as a “musical buddy.”

At first glance, Travis reminded me of ET, but one made of electronic parts with a silver coating and two speakers protruding from its head, like huge, round ears. I guess the resemblance really started when I saw this little robot dance.

Once this pint-sized buddy analyzes a beat and tempo, it will tap its foot and bob its head along with the rhythm of the song. Travis (who will be officially known as Shimi when massed produced by Tovbot) will have additional features like song recommendation.

Just like Pandora, Shimi will recommend a playlist based off of song selection. While taking a cue from Shazzam, Shimi will analyze a beat synced from user claps or taps to play the most recognizable song. Shimi will also connect to the phone’s camera and face recognition software to ensure the speakers protruding like bug eyes follow you wherever you go.

In my opinion, if Pandora & Shazzam ever decided to have a baby, the result would surely be Shimi.

Georgia Tech’s Center Director, Gil Weinberg, along with co-developers, Media Innovation Lab at IDC Herzliya, hope third party developers will create their own applications to enhance Shimi’s capabilities. Potential estimates that Shimi will be available for consumers by the end of 2013 – but attendees of Google I/O 2012 conference received a sneak peek of the Shimi Band – so cute! The developers at Tovbot have created a conceptual video of Shimi shown operating within your home.

Either way, I’m hooked!! Forget a puppy, I want Shimi for Christmas!

Want a quick overview of what Shimi can do? Check out this video below produced by Mashable.


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