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.
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.
Monster's latest team-up isn't with another star athlete or fellow accessory-maker: it's with music platform Speak Music Inc., which is lending the company its voice assistant named Melody. Monster says the partnership will add voice control to some of its headphones, making them the "world's first voice-powered premium" cans. The premium part may be true, but there are other voice-activated Bluetooth headsets out there. There's also bound to be more, considering manufacturers can now incorporate Amazon's Alexa Voice Service into their products. World's first or not, Melody adds a new level of hands-free convenience to Monster's devices.
The voice component of Samsung's Bixby assistant has been a long time in coming. The company was quick to boast about its AI helper at the Galaxy S8 launch, but revealed that the signature voice feature wouldn't arrive until later in the spring... and even then, it only had a full launch in South Korea. Americans had to make do with a preview. At last, though, it's becoming widely available: Samsung is officially rolling out Bixby's voice assistance to S8 and S8 Plus owners in the US. Every American with one of the flagship phones will get to talk to Bixby once an update arrives "tonight."
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.