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Yandex Launches Smart Speaker with Alice Assistant

Russian internet search engine Yandex has unveiled Yandex.Station, the first smart speaker designed for the Russian market and Yandex’s first hardware product. The Yandex.Station is equipped with Yandex’s Russian-speaking intelligent assistant, Alice, first launched last year and gradually rolling out across Yandex services. Alice has been available on mobile since launch in October 2017 and will soon arrive for the car with Yandex’s connected car platform.

Alice is built with advanced conversational skills and an understanding of context giving it an ability to both chat with users and to manage a range of tasks such as checking the weather or traffic conditions or finding a restaurant through Yandex services. Combined with the recent public release of Yandex.Dialogues, a skills platform for third-party developers, Alice now provides even more assistance with over 4,000 skills available at launch, with services ranging from ordering pizza from Papa John’s, to exercising with Reebok, or finding flights with S7 Airlines.

Yandex.Station provides a complete in-home multimedia entertainment experience. As the first smart speaker with both audio and video capabilities, it not only plays music but also streams films, videos and television through its HDMI port to any connected display. Currently, Yandex.Station has access to Yandex’s video streaming service KinoPoisk, as well as a wide range of other content including premium local video service providers ivi and Amediateka.

Developed by Yandex engineers, Yandex.Station features a proprietary array of seven microphones, which enable the device to accurately hear voice commands from anywhere in the room.

Yandex.Station delivers advanced sound quality, it features five acoustic components: two 20mm 10W tweeter drivers, one 85mm 30W woofer driver, two 95mm passive radiators. It is Bluetooth-compatible and measures 14х14х23cm. Total system power: 50W. Frequency range: 50-20,000Hz. Signal-to-noise ratio: 96dB.

Yandex.Station will cost RUB 9,990 and will be available this summer. With the purchase of Yandex.Station, consumers will receive a one-year complimentary subscription to Yandex.Plus. Yandex.Plus is a bundled subscription offering combining multiple Yandex services, including a full subscription to Yandex.Music, advertising-free video streaming on KinoPoisk, in addition to discounts on Yandex.Taxi and Yandex.Drive, and many others. – Telecompaper

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