Smart speakers were supposed to usher in the era of ambient computing, where you’d be able to just speak a question or command from anywhere in your house. But that only works if you put enough speakers throughout your house to ensure that there’s always one nearby.

Or you could get one that moves. Asus tried to do it with a while back with its Zenbo robot, and Amazon’s Astro fills a similar vision. But the home robot space hasn’t really taken off yet. LG is banking that “AI and multi-modal” technologies will make the difference, and the company is planning to show off a small robot at CES 2024 in January that’s designed to wheel around your home on two legs and respond to voice commands.

In other recent tech news from around the web, CNX Software has a mini PC review that does a good job of explaining the difference between Intel’s N95 and N97 low-power processors and Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, who has a pretty good track record with Microsoft hardware leaks, has some information about next-gen Surface hardware.

LG Ushers in “Zero Labor Home” with its Smart Home AI Agent at CES 2024 [press release]

LG is the latest company planning to launch a smart home robot that goes where smart speakers can’t… at least not on their own motion. It has a two-legged design, but rolls around on wheels and features Qualcomm Robotics RB5 for on-device AI features including voice and image recognition and natural language processing.

The company says it uses a “camera, speaker, and various sensors to gather real-time environmental data, including temperature, humidity, and indoor air quality,” and can work as a security guard or pet monitor among other things. 

FossifyOrg Gallery [GitHub]

After forking from Simple Mobile Tools, the first public release of Fossify Gallery is available. It’s an Android image gallery app that’s forked from Simple Mobile Gallery, but which remains open source, ad-free, and free from the in-app purchases that starting showing up in Simple Mobile apps after the developer sold the company

Review of Blackview MP80 (Processor N97) mini PC with Windows 11 Pro [CNX Software]

The Blackview MP80 mini PC comes with a choice of Intel N95 or N97 Alder Lake-N chips, while everything else is largely the same. This review demonstrates that the N97 CPU is a little faster, but the GPU is nearly 50% better.

Microsoft readies ‘next-gen’ AI-focused Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with Arm chips and design upgrades for 2024 [Windows Central]

Report: Microsoft is working on next-gen Surface Pro and Surface Laptop models with Intel Meteor Lake and Qualcomm Snapdragon X chips with an emphasis on AI features enabled by the onboard NPUs. 

Both the tablet and laptop are expected to be available with a choice of Intel or ARM processors, and the ARM-based models are said to offer performance and battery life that’s comparable to what you’d get from a MacBook Air or iPad Pro. 

Physical design updates are also expected, with the Surface Laptop expected to come with a choice of 13.8 inch or 15 inch display options, and the Surface Pro tablet coming with 2880 x 1920 pixel or 2160 x 1440 pixel display resolutions (with the new lower-res displays reserved for entry-level models). 

Keep in mind that this is all firmly in the rumor category until Microsoft makes official announcements. Even if the information is correct, there’s a chance that the company could change its plans. 

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @liliputing_ on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on X (the app formerly known as Twitter) and Facebook.

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  1. The Surface announcement is interesting. “ARM-based models are said to offer performance and battery life that’s comparable to what you’d get from a MacBook Air”.

    That’s quite the claim. I guess that means that the Surface is getting this new Oryon CPU from Qualcomm.

  2. LG robot — totally pointless. This isn’t the Jetsons. This is real life. I think people want something that’s practical and actually serves a real and useful purpose. These robots are worthless.

    1. The funny thing is, that the vast majority of people are still just needing a very small and lightweight laptop with a long battery and good keyboard that can fit in a large pocket or purse or small bag so they can organize their life in a simple text editor with all their necessary notes, and do some web page work.
      It cracks me up how these companies have not perfected that basic need.
      All this AI and looks beyond the mark.
      Get the basics right first, and it will sell like crazy!
      Then, if you want to go beyond that, do so.