As Jamie pointed out in a comment on this blog, Nabaztag creator Violet has been purchased by a company called MindScape. The news had escaped me because most of the press released are in French, but I’m happy to see these adorable little rabbits saved.
I’ve written in the past about how poor Violet’s service was at times, and I firmly believe this, at least in part, caused them to go under. They were getting a really bad rep. Nabaztag bunnies need to connect to a central server to operate, and is Voilet hadn’t found a buyer they’d probably all have let their ears hang.
Let’s hope MindScape fixed the software, adds WPA2 compatibility and launches some cool new ‘services’. My bunny has been disconnected for months now because it won’t connect to my network and it didn’t really do anything anymore (email notification was broken last time I tried, so were lots of other services). It will be hard to come up with a business model though, as people already have the hardware, and paid services failed miserably for Violet.
It’s been a year since I last blogged about my Nabaztag wifi bunny. That doesn’t mean nothing has happened in the mean time. In fact, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to get this adorable little plastic rabbit to do what I want it to do. But to no avail.
The problem with Nabaztag is that Violet, the company that sells these gadgets runs the central server, and everything your Nabaztag does depends on that server. Unfortunaltely, Violet is a little sketchy when it comes to keeping these so-called ‘services’ running. Here’s a recap of what I’ve come across.
More Incompetent companies: Violet/Nabaztag support
A few days ago I got a comment asking me whether I would release the source files for my Nabaztag Flash movie I created when I first got my wifi bunny. I couldn’t think of a single reason not to, so here they are…
More Nabaztag flash movie source files
It’s been three months since I got my Nabaztag/tag internet bunny, so I thought I’d share my experiences so far.
As far as I can gather, the actual rabbit itself is a pretty simple computer, and it requires heavily on the central server, which is maintained by Violet. As a user, I need to select ‘services’ in order for the rabbit to actually do something. I’ve tried quite a few, but have currently settled for a a small number of services. Having Nabaztanck read the news out loud at given intervals for instance proved to be more of a nuisance than I would have imagined. Because the text-to-speech messages aren’t always very easy to understand it required a high volume setting, and that meant the rabbit would interrupt phone calls, yap over interesting TV segments, etc…
More Three months of Nabaztag: A rabbit with a mind of it’s own
It’s here. Yesterday a colourful box arrived that contained our new house pet. My daughters fell in love instantly, but my own initial joy was tempered somewhat by the fact that it took me an entire evening to get it online. As it turned out, the bunny uses a 802.11b network card (apparently, 11 mbit is sufficient bandwidth for the rodent). My router however was set to “g-only” because I ‘d never had a ‘b’ device before. Entirely my fault, and as soon as I changed this setting the bunny’s lights turned green and I was good to go.
More Setting up Nabaztag
Last week’s Christmas celebration at work also marked my last gettogether with the people I’ve worked with for all these years. Saying goodbye to collegues I’ve come to regard as friends wasn’t easy, but the gift they got me really made my night. It will take a while to be delivered, but I can’t wait for my Nabaztag to get here.