Smartphones

Panasonic's Arbo is the next step in the evolution of digital assistants

A look at the virtual assistant on Panasonic smartphones, Arbo

by Brand Story


When you think about it, the role of an assistant in real life is to make your day-to-day functioning easier. In an office, an assistant is responsible for the scheduling of their boss’s day and ensuring that everything is taken care of making sure that the boss work at his or her best. There’s a great deal of learning and behaviour understanding involved. Smartphone companies have been working on digital assistants for years now and while Apple’s Siri is yet to become an effective companion, the Google Assistant has been making some strides as well. However, neither of them compare to the efficiency of a real-life assistant. That’s a problem that Panasonic is tackling with Arbo, its in-house AI Assistant.

Notably, unlike Apple and Google’s smart assistants, Arbo is more than just a voice assistant in your Panasonic smartphone. As you spend time with the phone, Arbo’s AI engine learns your usage patterns, your habits and starts making recommendations accordingly. For example, once Arbo learns that you go to bed around midnight, it will automatically ask you if you’d like to set that as your “bedtime” and if you confirm, it will turn on the night mode and put the phone on silent. Arbo is like a 24 x 7 assistant that learns your lifestyle and tailor the smartphone experience accordingly.

But Arbo’s capabilities are not just limited to making recommendations. There’s also Arbo Hub, a singular platform where all of Arbo’s learnings culminate. Besides keeping the weather up to date thanks to Accuweather integration, you also get a news-feed based on your reading habits. Arbo hub takes things even further by integrating cricket scores, though you have the option to turn it off in case you’re not into Cricket. Probably the most favourite feature of the hub is the ability to offer comparative pricing for both Ola and Uber rides and then booking the cheaper option. For those who rely heavily on these app-based cab hailing services, this integration can be a serious boon. Another very India-specific feature of Arbo Hub is its integration with Railways, allowing you to see train schedules, create and manage bookings. No longer are you forced to jump through hoops or go to multiple websites to find out train schedules or book a train. It’s all integrated directly into Arbo Hub, a very intelligent move by Panasonic showing its seriousness about the Indian market.

arbo-is-here

As Arbo is a self-learning AI, which continues to become better as you use it, Panasonic is also aiding in its growth by giving it newer abilities with time. The next iteration of the Arbo Hub platform will see the integration of live TV and music. What is also expected is the ability to discover and order food. Panasonic is also working on simplifying buying things online by integrating deals, along with the ability to compare products across various e-commerce portals so that you can buy what you need at the cheapest price possible.

Arbo is a great example of how a digital assistant should be, one who takes an active role in simplifying your digital life, not a passive one. This is what sets it miles apart from other digital assistants.

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