Video: Smartbeings A Smart IoT Company/YouTube

If talking to smart home hubs like Google Home and Amazon Echo makes you feel awkward, you’re not alone — the problem is well documented, and personally we get it. While we’re ready to embrace the technology of the future, speaking to a robot just doesn’t always feel natural.

Luckily, Silicon Valley-based startup Smartbeings has come up with a solution. It launched a Kickstarter campaign for a smart home hub called WooHoo on December 21st, and within 14 hours had reached its initial goal of $30,000. WooHoo has plenty of neat features, but we’re willing to bet that part of what drew early backers was the fact that it can be controlled not only by voice, an app and an online dashbord, but also by its seven-inch touchscreen.

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Screenshot: Smartbeings A Smart IoT Company/YouTube

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Screenshot: Smartbeings A Smart IoT Company/YouTube

WooHoo’s touchscreen certainly sets it apart, but it also has plenty of other enticing features. Key among them are a 360-degree rotation HD camera with facial recognition technology, as well as a spatial surround sound system with with voice recognition technology. Speaking in the video above, Joseph Santos, Smartbeings’ chief digital and marketing officer, says that WooHoo’s voice recognition technology is noteworthy because it “knows who you are. So when you say ‘turn on the lights’ or ‘play my favorite soundtrack,’ it knows it’s you that’s requesting that.” Pretty cool!

Aside from those more unique attributes, WooHoo can do many of the same things other smart home hubs can do. Smartbeings boasts that you can make it your one and only stop for controlling all the smart devices in your home — that means you can use it to control your home’s temperature, book an Uber, make phone calls, play music, create to-do lists and more.

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Screenshot: Smartbeings A Smart IoT Company/YouTube

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Screenshot: Smartbeings A Smart IoT Company/YouTube

Interested in adding WooHoo to your home? While the WooHoo Kickstarter campaign has already reached its initial goal, there are still ways to get in on the action. The popular Super Early WooHoo Starter Special, which includes one WooHoo smart home hub and a one-year smart home platform subscription for $49, is still available on the WooHoo Kickstarter page, as are several pricier options.

The Kickstarter campaign will officially come to an end next year on February 4th, at which point WooHoo hubs will begin selling for $89, plus a monthly smart home platform subscription fee of $9. Smartbeings will begin shipping the first WooHoo units to Super Early WooHoo Starter Special backers in May.

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