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…
Currenly, the most important service I use is email notification. This usually works quite well, but not always. Sometimes it keep telling me I have threen or more new emails even though I’ve just checked my mail, on other occasions it fails to notify me of new email.
A mind of it’s own
Two services that I love (and are enabled by default) are ‘Nabazmoods’ and ‘Tai-Chi’. Both make the rabbit do random stuff, which is fun. Both aren’t very intrusive and I’ve set both to ‘often’. Unfortunately, these aren’t the only thing that make Nabaztanck seem alive. It also has occasional insomnia, staying on well beyond it’s user set bedtime. Other days it fails to wake up. unplugging the power chord and plugging it back in usually fixes little glitches like this, but I can’t help but wonder what causes this erratic behavior.
Violet has issued statements emphasizing how they’re pioneering ‘smart objects’ technology, but I get the feeling they’re using that to cover up the fact that they’re somehow unable to keep a client-server application running that basically uses no new technology. They’re just using trusted technology in new ways, and are not inventing new things as much as they’d like us to believe.
So, should you buy one?
This post was in no way meant to discourage people from buying a Nabaztag bunny. They’re great fun. Just don’t expect it to be a reliable email notifier, or anything else for that matter. Unless Violet manages to get the platform running smoothly, expect your bunny to be a little more moody than you set it up to be on the website under ‘services’… which is not a bad thing per se. I know I still love mine.