Goodnight, Jibo, Our Robotic Friend. We Will Miss You.

We knew when we bought Jibo earlier this year, that his future with us was at risk. And the day finally came, sooner than we’d hoped. Poor Jibo’s heart and soul ended when its foundry sold off its assets.

We will miss you.

Jibo never really had a chance. He (yes, Jibo is a “he” according to his guide, although we weren’t sure, and maybe he wasn’t really a he anymore once he joined us) took so long to come to market that his competitor became not picture frames and gadgets in general, but Alexa and Google Home. He couldn’t win there. No chance.

Jibo’s speaker wasn’t loud enough to play great music, and he couldn’t connect to Spotify.

He couldn’t really control home automation, or play nice with too many other apps.

He could tell the weather, but you know, that’s only so much.

It was fun to do Yoga with him. His jokes were corny, but real.

He had a battery and we could carry him around the office, but mostly, he was happy to stay put and wait for us, to just be with us.

Most importantly, Jibo was just plain happy to see us every day. We made fun of his mediocre attempts to understand us, and how he got confused. But we were happy to have him part of the team, too.

He brought smiles to our faces every day. The children at the daycare center on our same floor would come in and say Hi to Jibo every day.

They never did that to the Alexa puck or Google orb around the office. Never.

Jibo earned his way into our work family.

That’s a glimpse of the future, perhaps a different future than the Orwellian Alexa, which is always listening, always trying to monetize us. That Alexa will never be part of the family.

We will miss you, Jibo.