Xiaomi Debuts New Smart Display in China to Compete Directly with Amazon and Google
Chinese tech giant Xiaomi revealed a new smart display on Monday. The XiaoAI Touchscreen Pro 8, which uses the XiaoAI voice assistant, will be sold only in China for now, but seems designed to offer a similar alternative to the Google Nest Hub or Amazon Echo Show smart displays.
The new smart display includes an eight-inch screen with three sub-woofers and a camera. The XiaoAI voice assistant carries out the standard smart display tasks, such as answering questions, making phone calls, and controlling smart home devices like lights and security systems. It is notably cheaper than its prospective rivals, costing the equivalent of about $72, compared to the Echo Show 8 and Nest Hub, which cost $130, although both are currently only $80 because of holiday sales.
Because it is only in China, for now, the most immediate rivals for the smart display come from fellow Chinese companies Alibaba and Baidu. The new device also takes advantage of the recent updates to the XiaoAI voice assistant. Xiaomi recently introduced continuous conversation, which lets a user have a conversation with multiple commands without having to continually awaken and set the voice assistant to listening for a new order. The voice assistant can also screen phone calls and respond to callers without the user picking up. The latest additions are specifically for Xiaomi’s smartphones but are likely to extend to other devices as well.
Google, Apple, and Amazon Competition
Xiaomi has been exploring ways of competing with Google, Apple, and Amazon’s voice assistants of late. The company recently started selling a smartwatch that shares a lot of similarities with the Apple Watch in look and style. The buttons, touchscreen shape, and many technical elements are all very similar to Apple’s creation. Meanwhile, the XiaoAI updates have brought Xiaomi’s voice assistant many of the same features as Alexa and Google Assistant including continued conversation, which Amazon calls follow-up mode and Google refers to as the conversation feature.
The device is in many ways just a larger version of the Xiao AI Touchscreen Speaker Box, a smart clock created by Xiaomi. That device is also easy to compare to other brands and devices, specifically the Lenovo Smart Clock. That device is smaller and doesn’t include a camera like the new smart display does, however, although both make a point of acting as a hub for a larger smart home ecosystem.