Lenovo has announced two new products to enter the smart home market. The Lenovo Smart Assistant uses Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service and a wireless NAS box which by all accounts contains facial recognition software and can organise your photo libraries.
Lenovo’s Smart Assistant offering will retail $50 less than the Amazon Alexa and is similar in appearance, sporting a cylindrical speaker and body. It will be available in grey, green, or orange. The single tweeter speaker will be powered by a 5-watt amplifier and woofer, driven by a 10-watt amp.
The Harman Kardon edition will come in black and retail at $180, $50 more expensive than the Lenovo Smart Assistant. The only difference known at this time is that the former will have better sound.
Similar to Amazon’s offering, their assistants will contain six microphones to capture voice commands. Lenovo has also added a second microphone to the center giving Lenovo’s product eight mics in all. Lenovo features 8GB of onboard storage and will be powered an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU. It will have Bluetooth connectivity.
In addition to the assistant Lenovo is also offering inexpensive cloud storage in the form of a 2TB or 6TB Nas Box. The idea is that it offers more privacy than conventional cloud storage and allows for data to be transferred to it over Wi-Fi as well as via USB connections.
This is the second attempt the company has launched a project of this kind, it’s 2009 IdeaCentre D400 never really took off. With the capability to stream media, the scope for the product opens up. If it works being able to organise photos via facial recognition will be very appealing to many, especially those with young families.
Although incapable of operating in RAID mode due to containing only one SATA drive, the device could be more of a success than the 2009 attempt. Both products should hit the market in May 2017.