It seems like every company has their eyes set on the smart speaker market, trying to catch up with the likes of Amazon and Google's market dominance. Huawei is no different, and today at IFA it's announced that it's launching one in Europe. It's called the AI Cube, and it looks suspiciously like a Google Home. It's also not cube shaped.
The good news about the AI Cube is that Huawei has not developed its own AI assistant. So there's no equivalent of Bixby coming here. Instead in runs on Amazon's Alexa, with all the associated features and skills, plus a few of Huawei's own AI enhancements for good measure. There's no word on what those enhancements might be, however.
So why this over an Echo or any other Alexa-powered smart speaker system? Well for starters it comes with Histen, its own 3D surround sound system, which it claims will ensure you're ending up with great sound. Apparently a 400ml sound cavity and aluminium diaphragm ensure it has "high quality audio with crystal clear midrange and highs, as well as full, rounded bass." On top of that Huawei is differentiating the Al cube by including 4G router functionality. Plug in a SIM card, plug it in, and you'll be able to take advantage of the wonders of 4G-powered WiFi. Assuming you have signal, that is. It supports LTE CAT 6, offers both 2.4 and 5GHz channels, and can handle up to 300 mbps download speeds.
If that wasn't enough Huawei is announcing a GPS tracker, for keeping tabs on all your things whenever they go walkabout. Not only can it connect with satellite navigation systems, it also has compatibility with mobile networks and Bluetooth. Once a paired device comes in range it'll buzz loudly, so you should be able to locate it wherever you are. The Huawei Locator has a 15 day battery life (60 on standby), a built-in SOS button, and IP68 waterproofing.
There's no pricing information yet, but Huawei is aiming to release both devices in Europe by this Christmas. There's no word on whether either device will get an international release.