Last year, Alibaba launched the smart speaker Tmall Genie X1. The company is among the largest internet e-commerce sites in the world. So it’s not surprising it wants to come in with products that are already launched by its closest rivals. The digital voice assistant market is crowded by top brands like Amazon, Apple, Google, and JD (their main e-commerce competitor). So with the launch of an Amazon Echo-like smart speaker the company showed its ambitions. A couple of days ago, Alibaba Artificial Intelligence Lab came in with another smart speaker named the Tmall Elf Cookie Edition. It’s a very compact smart speaker priced at 299 yuan ($47) only.
The Tmall Elf Cookie Edition was developed by the Alibaba Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Its overall shape and size are identical to the Apple’s product. There are a few color options including a cherry, blue, white, and black.
As you guess, its selling point is the AliGenie, a voice assistant service developed by Alibaba’s homegrown team. Like the Amazon’s Echo, this voice assistant offers the same functionality such as smart home control, weather, news, music, and a wide range of other skills. However, it only supports commands in Chinese. This is made to face competition coming from domestic rivals. Tencent has launched AI assistant Dingdang in 2017. All out in AI, Baidu also laid out in the sector through the acquisition of Alexa-like service Raven Tech. Xiaomi has launched a number of smart speakers as well.
Well, the interaction with the Tmall Elf Cookie Edition is quite easy. You just have to say ‘Tmall Elves, I want to listen to |a specific song name|’ or you can give commands in another manner by saying ‘Tmall Elves, I want to listen to bilingual stories’. However, it can be used for not only interacting with the speaker itself but controlling other smart products as well. You can say ‘Tmall Elves, turn on TV’ and turn on other appliances such as robotic vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, etc.