LingLong DingDong isn’t the name of a children’s play-toy. In fact, it’s China’s answer to the Amazon Echo. Now the DingDong is out to give Siri, Google Now, Alexa and Cortana a run for their money.
It’s unfair that the Amazon Echo and other devices that require voice-activation have more prominent presence in English and not in other languages, most obscurely – Chinese and Cantonese which are also widely spoken – in China, but thanks to the population, comprises of almost as much as the number of people who speak English.
LingLong, the very no-nonsense named company from Beijing, then created the DingDong, which should have been the name of a new line of doorbells, but they instead chose for it to be the name of their new voice assistant. The new smart home device will be able to manage calendars, play media and also provide the latest stock market updates, courtesy of the cloud-based speaker.
Interestingly, the device can be activated with the command – “DingDong DingDong” or “Xiaowi” or “Bailing”. The DingDong can effectively speak to 95 percent of the Chinese population who speak in Mandarin or Cantonese, which consist of varied accents and tones.
One thing about DingDong is that unlike most Chinese products we are used to seeing, it isn’t a blatant rip-off of the Amazon Echo. In fact, it’s got a pretty original design that’s got some deep meaning into it. It symbolizes tiānyuándìfāng which means “heaven is round, Earth is square”. We’re not really sure the connection between DingDong and heaven and earth, but we can appreciate the originality.
The device was first announced during May and it’ll be priced at $118. It’s definitely cheaper than the Echo but it won’t have much use for those of us who are English speaking. The speaker is a project that’s been in the making for quite some time now, being the fruition of a partnership between Chinese e-retailer JD.com and software company IFLYTEK.
The introduction of a device such as this will open up the Eastern market for takers interested in the more popular brands like Amazon, which could be a good opportunity for them to tap into this market.