Innovation That Matters

USB stick lets distant relatives watch TV and chat together

Publishing & Media

bob is a USB stick that transforms any TV screen into an interactive dashboard with which families can keep in contact and share their screen with distant relatives.

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While family members may be flung across the far corners of the world, there are now many ways to keep in touch more easily, from video calls to social media. Now a new startup called bob is hoping to change the way families use their TV, with a USB stick that transforms the screens into an interactive dashboard to keep track and connect with distant relatives.

Hailing from Israel, the Android-based device can be connected to any USB-enabled TV and users can set it up as part of their home network. Each member of the family creates their own log in and is given a personalized dashboard. From the dashboard, they can send messages to other family members with a bob stick, access video on-demand, games and web services to share with each other. Viewers can even sync the videos they watch so that, even if they’re not in the same location, family members can enjoy a film together and chat about it on screen. Profiles can also be tailored to the type of family member — for example, children can only access suitable content, while grandparents can easily use bob to ask their relatives for help or go through their online shopping together. The video below demonstrates the platform:

bob was launched at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, although there is currently no word as to how much the package will cost families. Are there other ways to keep distant relatives connected through interactive and fun platforms?



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