Chinese internet search giant Baidu on Thursday introduced a speaker and also also also two robots as part of its Raven series in a serious push into the highly competitive smart home market.
The products, introduced at the Baidu World conference in Beijing, are powered by the company’s DuerOS conversational artificial intelligence technology. which system is actually similar to virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Assistant and also also also Microsoft’s Cortana.
The smart speaker is actually called Raven H and also also also will be available for purchase in December for about 1,699 yuan ($256). Design-wise, the speaker looks like a stack of thin, colored square blocks and also also also the idea comes that has a touch-sensitive light-emitting diode (LED) display controller.
The controller can be detached coming from the speaker base and also also also used as a voice-powered remote for all Raven-compatible smart home devices.
The speaker was designed by Raven Tech, a start-up which Baidu acquired in February, and also also also Swedish consumer electronics supplier received a Teenage Engineering. the idea also has components coming from Danish high-end audio systems maker Tymphany.
The DuerOS allows the device to carry out various other voice-based commands and also also also tasks such as looking up information, playing music and also also also hailing a taxi, according to Baidu.
The idea behind the Raven H is actually to make the interaction between man and also also also machine as seamless as possible, according to Jesse Lyu, the founder of Raven Tech, who joined Baidu’s intelligent hardware unit as general manager.
“Its adjustable design lets its [users] move through their home or workspace, while remaining connected to both the Raven H system and also also also their personal world,” Lyu said in a statement.
which said, the Raven H will face stiff competition inside smart home speaker market, which according to Strategy Analytics, is actually currently dominated by Amazon.
Baidu also introduced the Raven R, a multi-jointed robotic arm which can move in response to user commands and also also also to express emotions.
A second robot — still in development — is actually Raven Q, which will eventually incorporate various technologies, such as simultaneous localization and also also also mapping, computer vision, voice recognition and also also also natural processing.
Baidu did indicate any pricing or availability details for the Raven R and also also also Raven Q robots inside announcement.
“Each product in our brand new Raven series is actually integrated with Baidu’s latest AI technologies, including facial recognition, computer vision and also also also even our Apollo autonomous driving technology,” Lyu told the conference audience.
“These smart speakers and also also also AI home robot may sound like a modest step inside history of technology — yet they will help people’s everyday lives and also also also bring them an experience once only seen in sci-fi movies,” Lyu said.