Yandex, the Russian technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning, has announced the launch of the first smart home ecosystem powered by Alice, its intelligent assistant.
In a press release, Yandex said Alice can turn on lights, adjust the thermostat, control the TV and even make coffee via smart home-compatible products being made by Philips, Xiaomi, Samsung and Redmond. The products include smart bulbs, plugs and appliances.
“A year ago, we brought Alice into users’ homes with the launch of Russia’s first smart speaker, Yandex.Station,” said Denis Chernilevsky, head of Alice-enabled device development at Yandex. “These new smart home capabilities will offer Russian users the next level of automated living, complementing Alice’s existing comprehensive skill set.”
Yandex noted that a user can launch Alice on a smartphone and ask her to turn on the lights as the user approaches his or her home. The assistant also supports customized scenarios in which multiple smart home accessories are activated by one voice command. For example, a user could program Alice to turn on the lights, coffee maker and TV when the user says “Good Morning, Alice.”
Yandex is also launching a line of its own gadgets, including the Smart Bulb, the Smart Plug and the Smart Remote Control. Users can control the brightness and color of the Smart Bulb, and the Smart Plug can power on any device with voice commands. The Smart Remote Control enables Alice to control devices with infrared remote controls, including air conditioners and TVs.
Yandex smart devices are available on Beru (its eCommerce marketplace), at the Yandex store in Moscow and next month through Svyaznoy retail locations. The Smart Bulb and the Smart Plug are available for 1,190 rubles ($19) each, and the Smart Remote Control will sell for 1,390 rubles ($21), the company said in the press release. Yandex rolled out Alice in 2017, and today it has tens of millions of monthly active users, the company noted.