Along with the Mi 5X and the MIUI 9, Xiaomi also had something else in the store. The company has launched a new AI powered speaker called the Mi AI Speaker. The speaker looks similar to the other voice assisted speakers in the market like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. The Mi AI Speaker comes with a circular control pod on the top with buttons to control the music and change audio channels.
The Mi AI Speaker can be controlled via a six-microphone array. The 360-Degree audio sensing technology will let the speaker hear to commands coming from any directions. As of now, Xiaomi has unveiled a range of content for the speaker including Music Streaming, audio books, children stories and also live radio. One can also access a range of plugins and add-ons for the Mi AI Speaker in order to add different functionalities.
The Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker can control a host of Xiaomi products including Mi Induction, Mi Box, Mi TV and all the other smart devices in the Mi Ecosystem. One can also control non-smart devices by using Mi Smart Power Strip. Furthermore, Xiaomi has also started an initiative called, Waterdrop, through which third party app makers can develop applications for the Mi AI Speaker.
That being said since Xiaomi is yet to have a full fledged digital assistant of its own we wonder how the AI Speaker will fare in the market. Companies like Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent have already been in the race with their digital assistants. The success of Amazon Echo is largely due to the number of skills available and how seamlessly the speaker interacts with third party services. Priced at RMB 299 the Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker seems like a value for money proposition. It would be interesting to see how Xiaomi will play its cards when it comes to the voice assisted speaker ecosystem and whether or not the company will launch dedicated digital assistant.