China’s Xiaomi has tied the tech company loads by jumping into the increasingly crowded AI smart speaker space.
The Mi AI Speaker is Xiaomi’s first take at rivalling the Echo, which has already inspired a product from Alibaba in China and counts contributions from Google and Apple among its competitors.
Building on the voice-controlled speaker that Xiaomi shipped in December, this device is powered by artificial intelligence, which has just been added the Xiaomi’s MIUI operating system, a option of an Android. The speaker can be used as a control for Xiaomi devices and also over 30 smart products from Xiaomi’s partners. Xiaomi touted its content available for the speaker, which includes audio books, music, kid’s stories and radio.
The price of speaker will be 299 RMB, $45, when it goes on sale in August but the usual limitation applies. As it frequently in the case of Xiaomi MI products, the initial release is confirmed for China but we don’t have confirmation of international availability.
Early bird users in China can get Mi AI Speaker for almost free — just in 1RMB — in a beta test mode that Xiaomi says will improve the AI systems and “help train to make it even more intelligent in the early stage.”
The speaker was unveiled at an event in Beijing today where Xiaomi took the wraps of MIUI 9, which includes a horde of AI-powered features such as a personal digital assistant and quick app launch capabilities.
The company also launched the Mi5X smartphone, a 5.5-inch device that comes with MIUI9 and features a dual rear camera. The phone is priced from 1499 RMB, or $220 approximately.
Fast, Dual, Simple – And that concludes today’s launch! Stay tuned for a summary! pic.twitter.com/2WEc06HsQH
— Mi (@xiaomi) July 26, 2017