Smart speakers are all the rage now. Google and Amazon have started the trend, Apple have had a go, but it isn’t stopping others from joining the race. Huawei, the brand that offers you all sorts of connectivity, isn’t far behind. Last week at IFA, they announced the (curiously cylindrical shaped) AI Cube.
Instead of focusing on their own AI, Huawei have integrated Alexa into this. The portable speaker offers something we haven’t seen before though: 4G connectivity. Theoretically this means you can take it with you wherever you go.
You can find out more in the following video:
Read below for the full press release:
Huawei Announces AI Cube with Alexa Built-In
BERLIN – August 31, 2018: At IFA 2018 today, Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG) unveiled the HUAWEI AI Cube, a two-in-one speaker and 4G router with Alexa built-in, marking its official entry into the nascent smart speaker market. It represents a new, more natural and convenient way for consumers to connect to the internet and control smart devices, while delivering high quality audio in a compact form factor featuring a minimalist design.
“As an industry leader, Huawei is committed to providing seamless connectivity and enabling the smart, connected experience. To those ends, Huawei has been actively strengthening the value proposition of its product portfolio and augmenting an increasingly wide range of products with AI technology, with HUAWEI AI Cube being the latest in the line,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG. “HUAWEI AI Cube boasts a complete set of functionalities that showcase Huawei’s commitment to innovation and collaboration. By combining HUAWEI telecommunications technology with Amazon Alexa, the HUAWEI AI Cube is a compelling product that will surely strike a chord with consumers.”
With support for Wi-Fi on 4G LTE, HUAWEI AI Cube can fulfill the myriad connectivity demands arising from the smart home. Setup for the router is easy and intuitive—it only requires a 4G SIM card plugged in to establish a high speed internet connection at LTE Category 6 speeds (300Mbps downlink). HUAWEI AI Cube is also compatible with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, meaning the router is dual band, capable of working on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels and transmitting data over LAN at up to 1,200Mbps.
HUAWEI AI Cube also features Alexa built-in, enabling users to effortlessly play music, control smart home devices, and access more than 50,000 skills – hands-free. All you need to do is ask.
“The Huawei AI Cube combines several products into one while balancing smart functionality with high-quality sound,” said Pete Thompson, Vice President of the Alexa Voice Service. “We’re excited to see Huawei bring customers in Europe a natural way to play music, control smart home devices and access thousands of skills.”
In terms of speaker performance, HUAWEI AI Cube is built with a large, 400ml sound cavity and an aluminum diaphragm, enabling the AI speaker to produce high quality audio with crystal clear midrange and highs, as well as full, rounded bass. The audio is also enhanced with Huawei’s proprietary audio solution: HUAWEI Histen. Also featured on a range of Huawei devices, HUAWEI Histen enriches the AI speaker’s set of features by including virtual bass, linear phase equalizer, adaptive gain control, far-field voice recognition and more as part of its repertoire.
All the aforementioned technologies supported on the HUAWEI AI Cube are packed in small matte white body with a seamless 3D mesh base. Moreover, the AI speaker is designed in a way that the ports are hidden underneath the base, allowing it to blend in with any home decor easily.
According to market analyst firm Canalys, the global install base of smart speakers is set to more than double in size to reach 225 million units by 2020. This massive opportunity is underpinned by a strong market interest for this category of products, particularly in the China market. As a leading telecommunications equipment and smartphone manufacturer, Huawei is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this burgeoning trend in China and beyond.
Alongside the HUAWEI AI Cube, Huawei also launched HUAWEI Locator, a powerful small form factor location beacon supporting long operation and standby times as well as four major global navigation satellite system (GNSS) standards, namely GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou. Compatible with nano SIM and eSIM, the device supports global roaming with near-real-time location reporting and provides a host of services including SOS button, Geofence and BLE Found, a proximity-based service that triggers a buzzer alarm on HUAWEI Locator when a paired smartphone is within 10 meters from the device. Built as a rugged, multi-purpose device, HUAWEI Locator has an IP68 rating which makes it perfectly suited for any type of activity, indoors or outdoors.