Russian search engine Yandex has introduced a smart speaker, marking the company’s first foray into the world of hardware.
The company’s smart speaker, called Yandex Station, is designed to compete with the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod.
Unlike competitive offerings, Yandex Station is developed to be more regionally adapted to the Russian market.
Yandex Station speaks Russian and comes equipped with a voice assistant called Alice. It’s the same voice assistant that was introduced to Yandex’s mobile app last October.
The smart speaker is capable of fetching information on demand, ordering food, streaming media, and other actions consumers come to expect from a smart assistant in 2018. Yandex Station has over 4,000 skills in total.
Konstantin Kruglov, Director of Experimental Products at Yandex, says in the official announcement:
With the introduction of Yandex.Station, we are excited to bring our intelligent assistant from mobile devices into the Russian home. Our high-quality smart speaker offers Russian users the benefits of a highly localized intelligent assistant, unique options for audio and video streaming, and superior sound quality.”
In the hardware department Yandex Station is no slouch, coming equipped with an HDMI port, seven microphones, two 10W drivers, and a 30W woofer. However, it is only capable of streaming media from Russian video streaming services such as KinoPoisk and Amediateka.
With that said, when Yandex Station launches this summer, it will likely only be available in Russia. It will cost the equivalent of $160 USD, which also includes a premium subscription to Yandex’s music, streaming, and taxi services.
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