Just another shameless review–PPD’s

IMG_0145My apologies if you hate technology reviews. I go as long as I can without doing reviews. Then I have to do a few. Part of what I do as a cutting-edge technologist is look beyond the easy answers to some questions. Today, I am going to talk about the concept of, and an exceptional execution of the concept of Personal Presence devices.

First off, today if you search for Personal Presence device they tend to run between 1500 and 4000 dollars. Quite a bit of money in fact. What you get as far as functionality is a device that allows a user to connect remotely, operate the system and move around as if they were physically there. The controls allow the user to see, hear and move around the space where the PPD is located (personal presence device).

The market has a lot of entries. In fact, there are entries all around the edges of this market. There is one however, that allows you to use what you already have, without spending all the extra money. Or, in buying a lower cost tablet (200 dollars at Fry’s) quickly have a PPD, without spending 2 grand.

(all images are of my Padbots. Original which was an Indiegogo project and the new T-1 also a crowd funded project).

It is the Padbot. There are two models. The tablet carrying larger Padbot and the smaller T-1 built for an iPhone. You can connect to the system remotely via their software. This allows you to take control of the device and wander around your house. Or wander around your workplace. It allows you to present a feed of where you are (image and video) and also to use the camera on the tablet connected to the padbot to see what is going on where the PPD is.

IMG_0147Yes, you can truly be two places at the same time. Anywhere in the world. As long as you know the padbot’ s id.

As you can see from the pictures, the T-1 is smaller and has a base mount that is a lightening connector. It will charge the iPhone while it is operating. The larger Padbot has a holder for a tablet. I currently have an older iPad in the Padbot to show its size. The original is much larger than the T-1. It has a little more rugged of a base and can actually traverse any flooring very well. The T-1, has a tank like tread, but is limited in some flooring situations in particular really thick carpet. The motor in the T-1 is a little smaller (like about 1/8th) the size of the Padbot.

Since you are using a tablet as the brains, or your phone as the brains there are a number of cool things you can do. Personally, I am dying for a T-1 iWatch application. Imagine being able to send your phone to another room to use it as a remote device. You would only be limited by the Bluetooth connection between the iWatch and your iPhone (which I find to be 40 feet or less inside).

The larger padbot is great if you are away from home and want to see how everyone is doing, or want to be at home and in the office at the same time. There is nothing like greeting your kids with the Padbot when they get home from school. Remaining them to get started on their homework etc. It is also a good way to annoy teenagers. All you have to do is be at the doorway waiting, smiling when they get home from school and the annoyance starts. At least, that is all it takes in my house.

Overall in the world of PPD’s this is a low cost great alternative to the price more expensive PPD devices that are all in one. It is, very simpler to the PPD shown in the television show “The Big Bang Theory” with the virtual Sheldon experience.

I highly recommend this easy to use, easy to setup PPD. Now if would only work with the taste of food I would buy one for my mother. Imagine being able to be there for every holiday. There is nothing like mom’s turkey to make Thanksgiving that much better!


if only my PPD could drive…