Baidu Unveils Raven Series AI-powered Hardware at 2017 Baidu World

raven H, raven R and raven Q redefine home assistant products with groundbreaking design and leading edge technology

BEIJING, Nov. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, today unveiled its new Raven series, transforming the smart home experience with three AI-powered hardware products that can hear, understand and fulfill consumer needs using Baidu's latest AI technologies.

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Smart speaker raven H, the first AI hardware product produced directly by Baidu for the mass market, will be available for purchase next month priced at RMB 1,699 ($256).

The AI-powered smart home is the future

Raven H is the first product of the Raven series following Baidu’s acquisition of the smart home hardware startup Raven Tech in February 2017. It is unique in that its LED display touch controller can be detached from the base of the device and used independently to voice control not only the main base of raven H regardless of its location, but also all other raven compatible smart home devices.

Cheng (Jesse) Lyu, the founder of Raven Tech who joined Baidu as the General Manager of its Intelligent Hardware Unit earlier this year, said: “Humans and machines have been interacting with one another for years, but raven H aims to create a world in which this interaction is seamless. The system, equipped with Baidu's superior voice technology, DuerOS, provides users with an unprecedented level of understanding from a smart device. Its adjustable design lets its user move through their home or workspace, while remaining connected to both the raven H system and their personal world."

As a cutting-edge, high-end smart speaker, raven H is a blend of technology and art jointly designed by Raven Tech and Swedish consumer electronics manufacturer, Teenage Engineering. Raven H’s beautiful design pushes the limits in its use of materials and its engineering. As part of a collaboration with Danish high-end audio systems maker Tymphany, raven H includes premium audio components to give listeners an extraordinary music experience. Equipped with DuerOS2.0, raven H provides an instant gateway to Baidu’s vast online resources, allowing users to use voice to perform a wide range of tasks including searching for information, playing music, hailing a taxi and more.

The unique design of raven H provides users with a seamless experience. For example, if a user asks the device for the time of Liverpool Football Club’s next match, raven H would not only give the user an answer, but also automatically follow up with a question of whether the user would like to set an alarm to watch the game. If the user says yes, the device would then set the alarm and automatically turn on the TV before the match starts.

Baidu has teamed up with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and interior design platform to bring raven H straight to consumers. At InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun, 100 rooms will feature raven H, welcoming guests with smart home services. Raven Tech is also collaborating with to provide consumers with home décor solutions.

raven R and raven Q to add to the smart home experience

Also at Baidu World, Baidu debuted two additional Raven series products. The second Raven series product, raven R, is the world’s first automated six-axis robot with emotional intelligence. Building on features of raven H, raven R has six human-like “joints” that allow it to move flexibly following a user’s command, and express emotions to enhance the interactive experience. The third member of the Raven series line-up is a concept AI Home Robot, raven Q. While still in development, raven Q will eventually integrate multiple technologies such as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), computer vision, voice recognition and natural language processing.

Speaking at the conference, Cheng (Jesse) Lyu said: “Each product in our new Raven series is integrated with Baidu’s latest AI technologies, including facial recognition, computer vision and even our Apollo autonomous driving technology. These smart speakers and AI home robot may sound like a small step in the history of technology – but they will help people’s everyday lives and bring them an experience once only seen in sci-fi movies.”

Raven Tech, which plays a key role in Baidu’s “All in on AI” strategy, will continue its commitment to bringing AI technologies to life and its pursuit to use the power of technology and design to make consumers’ daily lives both simpler and more efficient.

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