The latest Chinese giant Alibaba has launched a new smart speaker.
The new Tmall Genie with voice-controller can run third-party apps, play music and make a purchase from the Chinese retail giant’s online retail store. However, unlike other devices, it doesn’t have a display interface.
During unveiling, it will be operated in Mandarin and will be released to the market in China and iy will rival other similar devices that have been released by JD.com and Baidu
However, Tencent – China’s top-ranked technology company due to market capitalisation – has publicly come out to say that they are making a similar product but it’s still under development.
The Alibaba’s latest product gets its name from the company’s e-commerce source – Tmall – during an exhibition in Beijing it was put to test to order a bottle of Coca-Cola and airtime credit.
The Tmall device give’s room for both local and international retailers to manage their own virtual storefronts using its platform and report shows it is China’s third-ranked most busy shopping site.
Eden Zoller from the technology consultancy Ovum said “Obviously it’s an advantage if – Take Amazon for instance – you can attract client into your retail ecosystem via smart speaker.”
“But one vital thing that can’t be ignored is the early phase for this category, and there’s a constant question about client trust in using the digital assistants to purchase goods, with smart home speaker device or a smartphone.
“In this note, I mean both the privacy issues and secure nature of every transaction are mainly focused on how personal data is leveraged and shared.”
Alibaba has corrected these issues by applying a voiceprint-technology to try to restrict buyers from identifying the client or users.
Furthermore, it has a support for Alipay, the company’s online payment system.
Although, to start with, the company is marketing the device as a “limited beta” opening that will help offer feedback before it is fully certified for mass production of the device.