rovio_openerWHAT: WowWee Rovio

PRICE: $299

FUN FACT: The Rovio can be controlled via Skype or MSN Messenger through a special video plug in.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: Because when the WowWee team came through with the Rovio they completely changed our mind about the little three-wheeled electronic watchdog. Not only did we doubt its usefulness (we love robot's and all, we just couldn't think of situation when we'd need one), we were skeptical on how well the Rovio, an electronic assistant that can be controlled remotely from any computer connected to the internet, would really work once they were gone. Well, it worked pretty damn well. And after playing around with it for the better part of the afternoon, we got to thinking. As July winds down and we start planning the last of our summer getaways, we'd love to leave one on in our apartment just so we can keep an eye on everything while we're OT...


ANALYSIS

COMPLETE REMOTE CONTROL: If you would like to protect your spot when you're out of town or just at work, all you have to do is log into the Rovio website (you can do this from any computer, cell phone or internet enabled device), and connect to your machine. As we stated earlier, we had our doubts about how the Rovio would be to control, but WowWee makes it extremely easy to function. You can use your trackpad or your mouse to move it around. To give the you the omni-directional control needed to properly scour any environment the Rovio comes equipped with omni-directional three-wheeled motion for easy, precise navigation. Admittedly, moving it around takes a little getting used to, but after an hour so, you'll be traversing your entire apt. Or, if you'd like the Rovio to move about the house on its own, you can use the TrueTrack navigation system to store waypoints for Rovio to check on throughout the day. TrueTrack is also used to get Rovio to its base so it can recharge itself.

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Sound and Vision Once logged into the Rovio site, you can use the built in, head-mounted high resolution camera (640 x 480) and microphone that streams real time audio and video to navigate your Rovio's surroundings. In addition to streaming live audio and video, the Rovio can also take photos and store them until you get home, or email them to you throughout the day, just so you can stay up to date. We don't advocate spying, but if you're paranoid like Mr. West, you can keep an eye on wifey when she's at the crib and you're out of town.

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