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Russian search giant Yandex made its own smart speaker

Russian search giant Yandex made its own smart speaker

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Image: Yandex

Russian search giant Yandex has launched a smart speaker to compete with the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google, the company announced today. The speaker, called the Yandex Station, is the company’s first attempt at hardware, and it’s equipped with a Russian-speaking voice assistant called Alice that was developed in-house.

Alice has over 4,000 skills such as hearing workout tips, finding flights, ordering pizza, and helping you cast video to TV. The smart assistant first appeared in Yandex’s mobile app last October, and the company has plans to bring it to its taxi business, which merged with Uber last year in Russia.

Yandex Station has Bluetooth capabilities and an HDMI port for streaming television on connected displays, and it’s got relatively powerful audio specs, including two 10W drivers and a 30W woofer. Currently, the speaker can stream video from Yandex’s own platform KinoPoisk and other Russian video streaming services like Amediateka.

The Yandex Station is likely only going to be available in Russia, and it will cost $160 (9,990 rubles), providing locals with a more accessible and regionally adapted smart speaker than those offered by Amazon or Google. It will be available this summer, bundled with a premium subscription to Yandex music, streaming, and taxi services.