China’s Baidu simply introduced the strangest good audio system

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Chinese web Baidu is widely-credited for being one of many first to dive deep into synthetic intelligence, hiring Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng (who has since departed) to steer its efforts again in 2014.

Surprisingly, then, it has taken the corporate till at present to launch its personal good residence merchandise. But, removed from one other identikit contender, they stand out for being fairly not like something you’ve seen from a significant title.

Baidu used its annual Baidu World occasion to unveil a sensible speaker and two good speaker/mini robots for the house.

The gadgets are powered by the agency’s DuerOS voice platform and are the work of Raven, the startup Baidu acquired earlier this 12 months, and its Swedish badociate Teenage Engineering, which is thought for pushing the envelope on design.

Baidu has definitely delivered one thing that appears distinctive within the more and more crowded good residence market. Its Raven H appears to be like nothing like an Amazon Echo, Google Home or efforts from Chinese rivals Xiaomi and Alibaba.

In truth, it barely resembles a speaker in any respect within the standard sense.

The Raven H appears to be like like a stack of plastic squares, the highest certainly one of which is detachable. There’s an LED contact display controller that may be indifferent from its place on the base of the stack to make use of as a voice-based distant that connects with Baidu-Raven’s sequence of residence gadgets.

The Raven R

The machine goes on sale subsequent month in China the place it’s going to price RMB 1,699 ($256). Already InterContinental Hotels Group is working to equip its Beijing Sanlitun resort with the audio system.

There’s no phrase on worldwide launch plans, however Teenage Engineering advised Engadget that it aspires to promote the product exterior of China sooner or later.

Baidu’s two residence robots are additionally a part of at present’s information, however neither is prepared on the market but.

The most developed is the Raven R, which appears to be like prefer it belongs in a science lab.

The robotic contains six joints which permit it to maneuver based mostly on instructions from its consumer and “express emotions to enhance the interactive experience.” That’s along with the essential speaker features that you simply’ll discover within the Raven H.

The Raven R

Then there’s the mysterious Raven Q, which stays in improvement. All that Baidu would say of it’s that it’s going to “eventually integrate multiple technologies such as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), computer vision, voice recognition and natural language processing.”

There’s no pricing or estimated launch date for both robotic, however Cheng Lyu — the founding father of Raven who now heads up Baidu’s Intelligent Hardware Unit — described them as a glimpse of what’s to return.

“These smart speakers and AI home robot may sound like a small step in the history of technology — but they will help people’s everyday lives and bring them an experience once only seen in sci-fi movies,” Lyu stated in an announcement.

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