China-based robotics and display vendor ships interactive projectors for consumers and commercial users
As Microsoft, Cisco, and others roll out high-end touchscreen collaboration displays, China-based Puppy Robot is taking a different approach in terms of technology and distribution. It’s launched the first generation of its Puppy Cube, which turns any surface into an interactive display, and is entering the U.S. market with Amazon as its primary channel partner.
The Lowdown: Puppy Robot debuted Puppy Cube at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year. A prototype of the interactive projector was previously on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Puppy Robot chose Amazon as its first reseller and distribution partner to penetrate the U.S. market.
The Details: Puppy Cube is among several Android-based interactive touchscreen projectors. The 3.5-pound appliance can project interactive displays from 23 to 100 inches on any flat surface. The device’s built-in speakers and microphone make it suitable for videoconferencing, and a built-in battery also makes it portable.
The Impact: Interactive projectors range in price from $250 to $1,000. Starting at $999, Puppy Cube, as well as others in its product class, provides a low-cost alternative to interactive displays such as Microsoft’s Hub, which starts at $8,000.
Channelnomics Point of View: A first-generation interactive display isn’t normally something Channelnomics would get excited by. What caught our attention is the Amazon relationship. Puppy Robot went from a crowdfunding site to a marketplace as a go-to-market channel strategy. Many traditional display and hardware vendors are apprehensive about working with Amazon; they fear losing control of the customer relationship. Smaller companies looking to accelerate sales may not have the same reservations. Puppy Robot using Amazon as a first step to market might signal a new divide between old and new vendors working the technology market and channel.