The Xiaomi Yeelight Smart Assistant Speaker is a US$30 Alexa Dot
2017 has become the year of the smart speaker, with Google Assistant and Alexa dominating through a line up of first-party products and a range of third-party offerings. In comparison, Siri has the Apple HomePod (delayed), while Cortana is only running on the Harmon Kardon Invoke. Now Xiaomi has announced a new smart speaker to round off the year.
Xiaomi’s new Yeelight Voice Assistant Speaker (Yeelight is a Xiaomi subsidiary) is visually very similar to the compact Amazon Alexa Dot. Apart from the logo and the additional central button, most people would struggle to tell them apart since even the glowing light ring is present. However, this design might actually be licensed from Amazon as Alexa is the voice assistant used for all markets outside of China, while Xiaomi’s AI technology (rumored to be powered by Cortana) will be installed on Chinese models.
The Yeelight Voice Assistant Speaker has a voice-activated wake-up range of five meters, six microphones, and a single 2-Watt speaker. The brains consist of an unidentified Cortex-A53 quad-core SoC, 256 MB RAM, 256 MB Storage, dual-band WiFi, and Bluetooth LE. Outside of the standard Alexa functionality, this smart speaker’s dual AI is currently only compatible with Xiaomi smart home devices, although this will expand to other products over time.
The Yeelight Voice Assistant Speaker is currently on their Chinese crowdsourcing platform for 199 Yuan (US$30 approx.) with local shipping to start in China on the 31st of January 2018. No information yet on when the Alexa version will release worldwide.