Xiaomi’s Yeelight smart speaker is an Echo Dot look-alike
Yeelight, a subsidiary of Chinese tech upstart Xiaomi, has introduced a new smart speaker in its home market. Simply known as Yeelight voice assistant, the smart speaker was put on the company’s crowdfunding platform yesterday and raised over 7 times of the initial goal.
Yeelight voice assistant is not the first smart speaker from Xiaomi. The company already sells its Mi AI speaker in the Chinese market for 299 yuan, which uses the company’s own AI voice assistant, instead of the popular services like Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana or Google Assistant.
In the new Yeelight voice assistant, the company is offering two digital assistant options to the consumers – Xiaomi’s own digital assistant or Microsoft Xiaoice. It doesn’t support Cortana as many publications are reporting. Xiaoice is an advanced natural language chat-bot created Microsoft primarily for the Chinese market. It started out by debuting on the popular Chinese social networking website Weibo and is currently accessible on other platforms as well. The Yeelight voice assistant seems like the first foray of Xiaoice in the smart speaker space.
As per the official crowdfunding page, Yeelight voice assistant shipments will begin on January 31 to the eligible backers.
Yeelight voice assistant highlights
- 6 mic-array with advanced wake-up algorithm
- Support for smart home appliances from the Xiaomi ecosystem including Yeelight smart lights
- Answer queries, provide news updates, stock information and more
- Special features to interact with children
- Supports third-party skills like Amazon Alexa
- Dual-band Wifi b/g/n, Bluetooth LE
- 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex A53 processor
Let’s not forget the design, which seems to be completely inspired from Amazon’s Echo Dot. The resemblance is uncanny.
Pricing, international availability and Alexa support(?)
As a part of the crowdfunding campaign, the Yeelight voice assistant was offered at 199 yuan ($30.5), but the final pricing of the device could be different when it is widely released sometime later next year.
There is no word on the international availability at this point, but a report on Mi forums suggests that Yeelight voice assistant will be offered globally with Amazon Alexa support. Since the post is from a forum member and not Xiaomi team, we can’t be fully sure. I have asked the Xiaomi team for confirmation and will update this post once I have more details.