The number of subscription services available to consumers is far from limited. Netflix for movies and TV, Spotify or Apple Music for music, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for gaming, and Amazon Prime from for just about anything you can think of. If you purchase a brand new car, the manufacturer may offer a subscription package that includes roadside assistance and remote start for your vehicle. Many of these subscriptions are practical, but Sony is offering a monthly package that seems a bit unnecessary.
In 1999, Sony released the robot dog Aibo which at the time seemed like a sign of the technology to come. It was a futuristic machine, which a somewhat prophetic futuristic price of $1,600, being that we have smartphones inching toward that price point.
In 2006 however, the hype was over and Sony ceased production of Aibo, but nostalgia always prevails (just look at all the 90s classics being rehashed in Hollywood) and Sony will be releasing a new and improved Aibo.
Sony updated the pet robot with OLED eyes, a 22-point axis mobility and updated the AI software to allow Aibo to "form bonds" with owners. At the moment, Sony is only selling it in Japan, for $1,700. The biggest head-scratcher is the $26 monthly subscription necessary to keep Aibo's tail wagging. Sony claims the monthly plan is necessary to utilize Aibo by connecting it to Wi-Fi, downloading software updates and backing up data.
If you think about it, having a real dog is like having a monthly subscription because you have to buy food every month, pay for vet and grooming services etc., so maybe Sony is attempting to bring some actual pet expenses to an artificial dog. Either way, if you're looking to grab one, Sony stated there are currently no plans to release Aibo outside of Japan. If you have a trip planned to the Pacific in the coming weeks, you can currently pre-order the pup or wait for it to hit shelves January 11th.
What do you think about the $26 monthly price tag for Sony's new and improved robot? Drop a comment below and let us know.