The new speaker is powered by AI and can be used to control a host of other Xiaomi products and smart products from the company’s array of over 100 partners. The speaker will have content driven to support consumers’ needs such as music, audio books, kids’ stories as well as even a radio. The smart speaker will be rivaling Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, who are all showing vested interest in the smart speaker segment and in terms of pricing, Xiaomi’s $45 speaker will hands down beat its competitors.
It will feature six microphones for a complete 360-degree audio sensing and audio beaming experience. The controls for music playback will be located on the top of the speaker and there are two audio drivers for sound output. The smart speaker will also be able to connect to other services through plug-ins, for customers to receive calls, notifications and reminders, all of which even Google Home cannot do yet.
In terms of design, it is built conservatively and looks a little bit like the company’s range of air purifiers. There is also a light ring located just atop the speaker that closely resembles what is seen on the Amazon Echo. Xiaomi, in its promotional material has proclaimed its speaker to have excellent sound, but considering that the company is using two drivers, there is little that can go wrong when making a statement like that. Having said that, the company is making its offering only available in China for now, much like a host of other Xiaomi products that have never seen foreign shores as well.
The speaker will be selling in China for 299 RMB which is roughly $45. There has not been any word on availability to other countries or of the AI that Xiaomi is implementing in its smart speaker. The speaker was introduced alongside the Xiaomi Mi 5X smartphone as well as the company’s newest MIUI 9 OS for mobiles. The MI AI speaker could well be a worthy competitor to the current competition in the smart speaker space, but for its restrictions being available in China, seeing it outside of its home country will probably be a distant reality from now.
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