Amazon’s Echo Has a New Competitor! Welcome Tmall Genie made by Alibaba
Alibaba, a Chinese internet e-commerce site, is one of the largest in the world, competing with Amazon. The company announced the production of the Tmall Genie, a speaker similar to Amazon’s Echo.
The Tmall Genie is going to feature the AliGenie voice assistant, as a counterpart to Alexa from Amazon. The device offers similar functionality to the Echo, which includes smart home control, weather, news, music, as well as many other features. The command for activation is ‘Tmall Genie’ in Mandarin Chinese.
As the name suggests, it is possible to order products from Tmall, Alibaba’s shopping sites via the speaker through various voice commands. Another essential feature is voiceprint recognition that ensures orders and purchases are made only by authorised users.
The similarities to the Echo do not just end with functionality, the hardware designs of both speakers are extremely alike. The Tmall Genie looks like a black cylinder with a downward facing light ring that illuminates the base of the device when it is on.
Alibaba is launching in a limited beta for ¥499, which stands for roughly $73.39. Users can sign up online. Only a selected number of customers will get notified by mid-July to complete their purchases, whilst the first speakers are set to ship on the 17th of July.