Domestic technology giant Baidu Inc on Thursday unveiled its new Raven series products, which are intended to create a smart home experience with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, signaling its goal of making a mark in the competitive smart home sector.
The smart speaker called Raven H and two robots - Raven R and Raven Q - were launched during the Baidu World Conference in Beijing. They are all based on the company's AI operating system DuerOS.
Raven H is the first product of the Raven series since Baidu acquired the Beijing-based smart home hardware start-up Raven Tech in February.
Designed by Raven Tech and Swedish consumer electronics manufacturer Teenage Engineering, the speaker comes with a light-emitting diode display touch controller that can be detached from the base of the device and used independently to voice control other Raven-compatible devices, according to a document Baidu sent to the Global Times on Thursday.
Equipped with DuerOS2.0, Raven H provides an instant gateway to Baidu's vast online resources, allowing users to use their voices to perform a wide range of tasks including searching for information, playing music, hailing a taxi and more, said the document.
"I often joke that most of us do not know how to use TV remotes because they have more than 20 buttons, and the functions are unclear to most of us. However, when the TV set is connected to AI technology, in particular, the DuerOS, then it will transform to a smart product," Robin Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu, said during the conference, according to the report of news site thepaper.cn.
Beefing up efforts in the smart home sector, Baidu has so far teamed up with InterContinental Hotels Group and interior design platform Jia.com to bring the Raven H straight to consumers, which will be available for purchase in December priced at 1,699 yuan (6).
The company also introduced the Raven R, the world's first automated six-axis robot with emotional intelligence and a second robot, Raven Q - still in development - that will eventually integrate multiple technologies such as simultaneous localization and mapping, computer vision, voice recognition and natural language processing, according to the document.
Besides Baidu, domestic voice recognition services provider iFlytek is also making inroads in the smart home segment.
The company, based in Hefei, East China's Anhui Province, just launched its first smart microphone called MORFEI on October 24, which has built-in voice recognition and natural language understanding technologies. The device is designed to lower the threshold for home appliance makers and hotels to integrate AI technologies into their products.