The Amazon Echo and Google Home automation systems may have a new contender in the ring, says Joshua D. Bateman for WIRED. The LingLong DingDong is the China's answer to popular voice controlled systems. The Chinese-speaking system could help introduce the Amazon Echo to China and bring the power of voice activated smart home speakers to millions.
According to one report, China’s smart home market alone could hit $22.8 billion by 2018. “We think that the voice is most natural way to connect,” says Charlie Liu, LingLong’s senior marketing manager. “You just need to say what you want."
The DingDong costs $118 and can provide news, weather, stock updates, play music, and more. For now, it only speaks Chinese, but comes in Mandarin and Cantonese versions. Three commands wake the device: DingDong DingDong, Xiaowei Xiaowei (a girl’s nickname), and BaiLing BaiLing (skylark).
Beyond creating a robust ecosystem of developers, LingLong is offering its technology to other smart speaker manufacturers. And it hopes to work with Amazon to introduce DingDong to Alexa—and vice-versa. “If they want to sell the Echo in China, maybe they will use our voice engine,” Lv Fang, head of sales and marketing, says.