To En­ter Home Hub Mar­ket With Smart As­sis­tant

SmartHouse - - CONTENTS - Writ­ten by Fer­gus Hal­l­i­day

While Ama­zon has al­ready more-or-less con­quered the Amer­i­can mar­ket with their Echo, the rest of the world is still up for grabs. What’s more, Len­ovo’s global brand might just make it the right com­pany for the job. They an­nounced their own ‘Smart As­sis­tant’ at CES.

Now, all they have to do is get it into the hands of con­sumers.

Boast­ing both a sim­i­lar de­sign to (as well as a lot of the same cut­ting-edge tech pow­er­ing) Ama­zon’s Echo, the Len­ovo Smart As­sis­tant is a small cylin­dri­cal de­vice that lever­ages eight far-field mi­cro­phones to pick up voice com­mands with greater re­li­a­bil­ity than the ri­val de­vices.

Equally im­pres­sive is the tech work­ing un­der the sur­face. On the in­side, the Smart As­sis­tant in­te­grates an In­tel Celeron N3060 for pro­cess­ing and a pair of tweet­ers (one 5-watt and one 10watt) for au­dio. Once set up, users will be able to lis­ten to music, ask ques­tions, search for in­for­ma­tion and con­trol smart home gad­gets us­ing voice com­mands. The sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two de­vices even ex­tend to the soft­ware side of things with the Len­ovo Smart As­sis­tant able to be con­trolled and con­fig­ured us­ing the Alexa app.

On top of all this, there will even be a more­ex­pen­sive Har­man Kar­don ver­sion of the de­vice avail­able. That model will look to sweeten the deal by adding pre­mium au­dio to the equa­tion and give it a more de­fin­able edge over com­peti­tors.

The Len­ovo Smart As­sis­tant is set to ar­rive in re­tail­ers by May.

The de­vice is set to go on sale in Aus­tralia for around $250.

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