Thanks perhaps to the feature set of Amazon‘s Echo, which offers similar hands-free and voice-activated control of some Internet services, but at a much lower price, Jibo is said to be canceling orders outside the United States and Canada and forcing foreign customers to request a refund. According to GeekWire, the company, led by celebrated MIT roboticist Cynthia Breazeal, is officially canceling non-U.S. and Canada orders because “Jibo won’t function up to our standards in your country.”
GeekWire also wrote that although Jibo was originally supposed to ship during the 2015 holiday season, it still has not sent out any units. That’s in spite of raising more than $60 million in funding to date. Jibo’s PR folks told Fast Company that it plans on shipping early adopter units this October.
In a FAQ, the company said its decision to cancel orders outside the U.S. and Canada was based on latency issues related to having servers hosted in the U.S. and trying to do language translation abroad. And while some users in other countries obviously speak English, the company maintains that it will nevertheless not be shipping outside the U.S. and Canada. That said, Jibo explained it hopes to start shipping to some international markets in late 2017. DT