Xiaomi revealed through its Mi Community that it will offer a new voice assistant speaker for $30 in January. Sold by Xiaomi subsidiary Yeelight, the big deal with this device is that it will sport two virtual assistants: One based on Xiaomi artificial intelligence technology to be used within China, and Amazon Alexa for customers located in the Western market. This dual-A.I. support enables Yeelight to sell the voice assistant speaker on a global scale.
The last 10 years have utterly transformed how people think about voice technology. From limited uses in just a few outlets, voice assistants are now integrating into every part of people's lives. To encapsulate everything that has happened in ten years, we've picked a notable event from each year of the last decade to highlight and show how they marked a milestone in the way voice assistants have evolved and spread. Siri began life as an independent voice assistant, a mobile app for iPhones. Apple saw potential in Siri and snapped up the company and its creation in 2010.
French startup Snips is now helping you build a custom voice assistant for your device. Snips doesn't use Amazon's Alexa Voice Service or Google Assistant SDK -- the company is building its own voice assistant so that you can embed it on your devices. And the best part is that it doesn't send anything to the cloud as it works offline.
Spotify is experimenting with a voice-control interface, looking to free itself from reliance on Siri and Alexa and pave the way for the company's forthcoming smart speaker. Users of the service have spotted the new feature hiding in the search bar of Spotify's iOS app. After tapping the magnifying glass to search for a track or playlist, testers see a microphone icon inside a white bubble, according to the Verge. After users tap on the icon, Spotify suggests a number of typical requests for a voice-controlled music system: "Show Calvin Harris", "Play my Discover Weekly" and "Play some upbeat pop", for instance. The move comes as Spotify ramps up its efforts to build a smart speaker to challenge Apple, Amazon and Google in the hardware field, all of which have their own music services.
THE GLOBAL appetite for voice assistants is growing and companies are taking note. This year, we've reported beyond Amazon's Alexa, the likes of Baidu, Huawei, and Samsung have all recently launched their own virtual assistants. It should come as no surprise then that Tencent, a dominating figure in China's software space, is also coming out with a voice assistant. As reported by Tech in Asia, the Chinese tech giant's new voice assistant, called Xiaowei, provides your standard run-of-the-mill offerings, including weather reports and news updates. It also responds to voice and facial recognition.