Jibo Review : A 3+ year wait, but was it worth it?

Jibo - Cynthia Breazeal

I was one of the first 500 people to buy Jibo for $499 in the July 2014 Indiegogo crowdfund and I finally received my Jibo more than three years later in November 2017.

Jibo Expectations

To give a fair review I think it’s important to understand the expectations that were set back in 2014 so I’ve embedded the crowdfund video below, like most Jibo backers this video is what prompted me to participate.

Expectations that were set, in the order they were set in the video:

AKA – Why I bought Jibo

  1. Independently take videos and photo’s with intelligent tracking
  2. Process email and give proactive notifications
  3. Teach children via interactive stories
  4. Video chat between Jibo and friends / family with Jibo app
  5. Order takeaway food
  6. Send and receive voice messages
  7. Family friendly interactions and personality

So let’s go through the expectations that were set, one by one:

Jibo Review

Expectation 1:

Can Jibo take videos and photo’s using intelligent tracking?

No, Jibo takes photo but not video which is disappointing as this was one of the main things I was excited about. The crowdfund video depicts Jibo solving a real world problem of capturing family moments on video by intelligently tracking faces and getting everyone in on it which would be super cool for birthdays and holidays etc.

Expectation Score:  3 out of 5

Jibo Review

Expectation 2:

Can Jibo process email and give proactive notifications?

No such feature, very disappointed about this one.  Really, how hard can it be?

Expectation Score:  0 out of 5

Jibo Teach

Expectation 3:

Can Jibo teach children via interactive stories?

No such feature, super disappointed about this one because Jibo was mainly for my kids.

Expectation Score:  0 out of 5

Jibo Review

Expectation 4:

Can Jibo host video chats between friends and family?

No such feature, now I’m getting angry and I’m starting to feel cheated.  This is the second video related feature promoted that doesn’t exist at all.

Expectation Score:  0 out of 5

Jibo Review

Expectation 5:

Can Jibo order takeaway food?

No such feature, now I’m really mad and I’m thinking “false advertising and fraud”.  I really wanted Pizza the other night and recalled the crowdfund video – I looked at Jibo and he looked right back with a blank look.  Worse still he can’t even find the phone number.

Expectation Score:  0 out of 5

Jibo Review

Expectation 6:

Can Jibo send and receive voice messages?

No such feature, really?  How can something so simple be so hard to pull off?  Let’s keep in mind I got my Jibo more than three years after ordering.  Over three years and you can’t do voice messages, come on people get your act together!  Messaging ain’t that difficult.

Expectation Score:  0 out of 5

Jibo Review

Expectation 7:

Is Jibo a family friendly interactive personality?

Yes, he definitely has more personality than a pig in a Pulp Fiction kind of way but I’m not sure he has more personality than a dog, unless you don’t have a dog then you’re good.

Expectation Score:  3 out of 5

Jibo Review

Jibo Review Conclusion:

Firstly, were expectations met?  Sadly no, not even close just look at the score:

Total Expectation Score: 6 out of 35
Percentage of Expectations Met: 17%

Remember these expectations I reviewed were set by the crowdfund video, they aren’t just some random expectations I made up.  People made buying decisions based on the crowdfund video and Jibo has only met 17% of them at best, I even skipped a couple of things mentioned in the video that I personally didn’t care about so a proper evaluation of everything mentioned would have resulted in an even worse score.

Anything Good to Say About Jibo?

Yes there is.  I believe all of the expectations that weren’t met could possibly be met in the future if the company survives but I have some doubts about whether it will or not.  I sincerely hope it does and I sincerely hope the Jibo team take note of the expectations that were set and unmet and begin working on them as a priority.

Advice for Jibo Team:  Do what you said you were gonna do in the original video.

At the end of the day Jibo has held my kids attention for a few days and put smiles on their faces and the photo’s they were taking while I wasn’t there that appeared on my Jibo app put smiles on my face and those smiles are worth something so Jibo “has something”.

My goal in life is happiness and Jibo has brought a little happiness so I’m grateful to the Jibo team for that much and if I could wave a magic wand I would want Jibo to receive additional funding or get snapped up by one of the big tech firms like Amazon, Google or Microsoft as long as they promise to keep Jibo’s personality in tact.

Videos and Photos
Family Friendly Interactivity
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  1. The issue is the software. But will the hardware be obsolete by the time the software is completed?
    My Google Home Mini cost about $30 Jibo costs $900 and is older technology. If Jibo survives it must/will come down in price to $100-200 max.


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