Samsung unsure about Ballie, it might go through drastic design changes

Samsung’s small rolling robot Ballie might not be coming to the consumer market before going through drastic design changes. Following the product’s reveal at CES 2020, Kim Hyun-suk told the press that the company has yet to decide whether or not it will commercialize Ballie. However, the company will eventually release a similar product capable of connecting to home appliances.

Samsung did reveal Ballie as a prototype so this isn’t entirely surprising. But in light of this recent news, it sounds like the final, consumer version of Ballie could end up as a very different product from what we’ve seen on stage at CES. It could have similar technical capabilities but an entirely different form factor.

Samsung views Ballie as more of a hub than a robot

Ballie’s connectivity capabilities are impressive but what really pushed it into the spotlight was the ball-like form factor. However, Samsung seems to care less about Ballie’s exterior design – which might be difficult to pull off for a mass-production device – and more about the product’s IoT nature.

People think Ballie is a robot because it functions like a robot. But it is not. We consider Ballie a device that interacts with numerous other devices that we already have‘ said Kim Hyun-suk at the conference to underline the device’s hub-like nature. He added that the future Ballie could be a simpler device designed with ease of access in mind.

In other words, Samsung hasn’t decided if the ball-like Ballie will ever be released, but assuming that it won’t then the product’s hub-like capabilities will eventually be implemented in a different, simplified product. It might even have a different name than Ballie.

Are you bummed out that you might not be able to buy your very own BB8-like smart rolling ball this year? Or do you think Samsung should abandon the bold design and focus more on the underlying hub capabilities?

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