Cylinder-like, with a discrete mesh on top – this is how most speakers and smart speakers are hitting the market today. It seems we’re embracing the minimalist trend, even begging for it. But is that really true? Don’t we want something unique, colorful, an accessory to our home rather than an object easily forgotten? Teenage Engineering seems to believe so. They’ve teamed up with Baidu to create three smart speakers that are redefining the image we’ve come to associate with them #objectmagic
First of all, the H speaker, a deceptively-named gadget since it’s anything but minimalist and simple. The device is made from colorful plastic blocks that attach to a coiled wire. The top block has a LED array that give it a bit of life. It doesn’t look like a speaker at all and could easily be found in a modern home, with touches of color and sparse furniture.
It comes with voice control, so you can ask it to turns the lights in your house, call a cab, search for information online and schedule different tasks. The Raven H is set to hit the market with a ￥1,699 price tag (that’s roughly $256). Unfortunately, it’s going to go on sale exclusively in China.
Tourists will probably see it in one of the 100 rooms of the InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun hotel and locals will be able to purchase it from decor store Jia.
Baidu and Teenage Engineering have two other products in production. Raven R has a multi-jointed body that helps it express itself, as the manufacturers promote it as having emotional intelligence. It’s certainly nothing like you’ve seen before, a cross between a robot and a speaker.
Baidu has also been teasen concept Raven Q, an “AI Home Robot”, but this product is even more of a mystery than the other too. Both Raven R and Raven Q don’t have an official price or release date.