Lenovo is now officially entering the Smart Home market with its own entrant – the Smart Assistant.
The name isn’t very inspired, but it will use the magic of Alexa to function. In fact, it’s quite similar looking to the Echo as well. It’s got that cylindrical design, with the half aluminium casing, and half coloured speaker grill. And that’s about it, basically. There’s nothing much new here, apart from Lenovo making a speaker with borrowed software. It’s a start, but it could also mean that Lenovo probably has some big plans for the Smart home market, provided this run goes well.
According to Phone Arena, the base model will cost about $129, while there will be a better sounding variant with Harman speakers available at $179 which will make it as expensive and on par with Amazon’s Echo. It’ll be available in three colours –light gray, orange and green. There may be more colours available after its launch however.
Because it’s a cylindrical design, the speaker will have eight 360-degree far-field microphones with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation. All of this so that the device can pick up audio commands from as far as 16 feet away. It’ll be compatible with Lenovo-branded smart products as well as third-party smart home devices.
Although Lenovo hasn’t made anything to change the way things are in the smart home market or break any new ground, the company will be able to expand its line-up of the internet-of-things segment. And according to The Verge, Lenovo did work directly with Amazon to integrate Alexa, so we’re looking at a finely optimized product, that doesn’t really demand too much.
The speaker will come out in May this year and Lenovo will also be shipping a six-terabyte network storage drive, which also has a compatible app for face recognition for automatic photo-file sorting. This will ship the same time as well and cost $140.