Chinese tech giant Baidu just announced the strangest smart speakers
Beijing company Baidu announced the Raven H smart speaker and two robots called Raven R and Raven Q. The smart speaker goes on sale in December but there’s no launch date or pricing for the robots.
Baidu said the products will provide users with an experience once only seen in “sci-fi movies.”
Baidu, a multibillion dollar Chinese internet giant, has unveiled two new robots and a smart speaker to rival the Amazon Echo.
The three “Raven” products — unveiled at the Beijing company’s Baidu World conference on Wednesday — are all powered by Baidu’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The Baidu smart speaker, known as Raven H, is quite unusual in that it has a detachable LED touch controller that can be used independently to control other Raven devices around the home. It will go on sale in December at 1,699 Yuan ($256, £194).
The device has been developed by a company called Raven Tech, which was acquired by Baidu in February, and Swedish consumer electronics manufacturer Teenage Engineering.
Just like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Apple HomePod, it allows people to use their voice to search for information, play music, hail a taxi, and get the weather, among other things.
Baidu also unveiled Raven R and Raven Q
Raven R is an automated robot with emotional intelligence, according to Baidu. The company said it has six human-like “joints” that allow it to move in response to a human command and display “emotions” that enhance the user experience.
Then there’s Raven Q, which is another home robot but but this one is still at the concept stage. Baidu said it will eventually integrate multiple technologies including “simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM),” computer vision, and natural language processing into Raven Q.
It’s unclear when Raven R and Raven Q will go on sale and how much they will cost.