This was the Christmas of A.I. at my house. Pretty much everyone got some kind of thinking machine primed to kill. My youngest son Noah asked for and received from Santa a Hatchimal. This was a little robot creature that literally birthed itself from an egg in our living room. I have to admit to not being especially impressed with the Hatchimal. It makes some goofy noises and scoots around on the floor but overall I’m not too concerned with this thing taking over the planet.
Cozmo on the other hand, is the kind of Artificial Intelligence we were warned about. My oldest son Gabe asked for one of these and seeing as they were sold out, I was just going to get him a football. However my wife is significantly cooler than I am and camped out at a Toys R Us at 5am one morning to score him this tiny robot. I think even she would tell it you it was totally worth it.
Cozmo is incredible. The way it moves and emotes is so good that it feels like you’re interacting with a Pixar character instead of playing with a toy. It comes with three little cubes that are covered in lights, sensors and symbols. You can play games with Cozmo that use the cubes and he can also do tricks with them. There is a companion app that gives you daily challenges and you can earn a sort of currency that lets you improve and command your Cozmo. I was super impressed with this little guy. If they ever show up in stores again I will probably get one for myself to keep on my desk.
My wife wanted Alexa and once again, Santa delivered. Again I was super impressed with how smart this “smart” device was. Kara spent the afternoon in the kitchen cooking and she was using Alexa the entire time. Without ever using her hands she had Alexa to control her music, set timers for baking, and added items to a shopping list. She talked to it all day and it never missed a cue. Even from a room away she was asking it questions and getting the answer. My kids love asking her to tell them jokes and eventually we had to tell them to leave Alexa alone. I was super impressed with the speaker on the Echo that we got and this is another gadget I would easily recommend.
All in all, Santa was very good to the Krahuliks this year. My own stocking was full of Star Wars: Destiny booster packs and rad books.
Even though I was wrestling with the flu, I had a fantastic holiday. Kara and I got bit by the Overwatch bug again and are back in trying to score Winter Wonderland loot. If there’s one good thing about being sick in bed for a week it’s guilt free video gaming. In all honestly though I do want to thank you all for supporting Penny Arcade over the years. You’ve given my family and I an incredible life and we can’t thank you enough for that.