Baidu has introduced three new products on Thursday, paving the company’s way into the smart home market. The products, dubbed the Raven Series, were presented at Baidu World conference in Beijing. Chinese internet search giant showed a smart speaker Raven H, a robotic arm named Raven R and announced an AI home robot called Raven Q.
The Raven series
Raven H is a smart speaker with a unique design, a touch-sensitive LED display controller and voice control. The display is detachable from the base, rendering it a utility that could be used independently of voice control. The second product, also unveiled at Baidu World, Raven R, promises to be an even more exciting piece of hardware. According to the company, it is the world’s first automated six-axis robot with emotional intelligence. Raven R has six human-like “joints” which will allow it to move following the user’s command. The experience of human-device interaction is lifted to an exciting level, as the Raven R can simulate an emotional response. Finally, the third member of the series is Raven Q – a concept AI Home Robot. It is expected to integrate multiple technologies such as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), voice recognition, natural language and processing, as well as computer vision Raven Q is still in development.
Raven H: seamless blend of design and technology
Raven H represents the result of collaboration between Danish high-end audio system maker Tymphany, Swedish consumer manufacturer Teenage Engineering and Raven tech. It includes the premium audio components and is equipped with DuerOs 2.0, conversational AI technology, allowing it to instantly access Baidu’s online resources. The user can expect the voice control function to interact seamlessly and follow up on search queries with additional requests for tasks. The H looks like a stack thin multicolored blocks which are juxtaposed with bright white LEDs, complementing the detachable display.
Price, competition and the future
As of December 2017, Raven H will be available for purchase for around 1,699 yuan ($256). It will be interesting to see how the market will react to Baidu’s DuerOS, as it is similar to Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. When it comes to immediate plans for the future, Baidu will be joined by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), to equip 100 rooms at InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun with Raven H. In addition, Raven Tech will collaborate with Jia.com to provide consumers with home decor solutions.