16 September 2018
German Autolabs is a Berlin-based startup focused on making a digital assistant specifically meant for drivers around the world. Its assistant is known as Chris and was showcased at the ongoing IFA 2018 event. It can be controlled with both voice commands and gestures so that drivers can stay focused on the road instead of looking at their phone or the assistant for that matter.
Chris has been designed in a circular shape with a design similar to Alexa-powered Garmin Speak. It sticks to the car's front windshield which makes it easier to interact. The biggest difference between Chris and other such digital assistants or navigators is that it can work even when there is no internet connectivity.
Talking about this particular aspect of Chris, Daniel Mieves said that the Chris hardware unit has the voice recognition tech baked into it. It means it does not have to rely on communicating with the Cloud to do all the processing and then replying back with relevant answers. It is worth noting that there are certain features which would work only when there is internet but let's say you are using it for navigation, it will continue to do so even when you lose the connectivity.
The team has currently announced Chris only for the German and United Kingdom markets but they have plans of releasing it in India by next year. They said that the only thing that is delaying the release is the lack of a distributor(s). The team said that they have received a lot of request from India but they are yet to settle on a distributor. It has been priced at £299 and also has a companion app meant for Android and iOS devices.