Just like in the smartphone market where iPhone ‘inspires’ the design of Xiaomi in China, there’s now a Amazon Echo-like smart speaker hit the Chinese smart home market called DingDong.
Even the company representative has told Wired that the launch of Amazon Echo back in 2014, brought a big influence on the product design of DingDong.
So, just like Amazon Echo, DingDong is able to play music, conduct online searching, note down personal schedules and control other smart home devices via voice commands.
In order to tailor into the local market, DingDong speaks two languages – Chinese and Cantonese, however in different devices. That is to say, there’s one version understanding Chinese and the other one for Cantonese. Though there are various accents in Mandarin, the company claims that the device can understand roughly 95% of the population in China.
As well as users listen to music via Spotify on Amazon Echo, DingDong partners with Baidu music to provide millions of songs for home music experiences, the company says.
One of Amazon Echo’s winning strategies is to offer Alexa as an open platform for third-party developers, inspiring more creative applications. And, so will DingDong. The company has started to work on a new platform for developers to integrate DingDong skills into their apps.
Linglong Tech, the company behind DingDong, is a joint venture between Chinese tech company iFlyTek and e-commerce firm JD.com.
Besides DingDong, the company has debuted a smart learning speaker, looks like DingDong, allowing Chinese children to learn English with it. The device reads English, provides vocabularies everyday, and knows to correct the English accent.
Smart speakers from Amazon or Google, for now, only communicates in English. The Chinese version actually does not compete directly with them.
According to Chinese research firm CKGSB Knowledge, the smart home market in China is expected to reach $22.8 million by 2018.