Mobvoi, a startup with $250M in funding is launching TicHome, a Google Voice Assistant. At IFA 2017 we have had access to a prototype and could see how the final product would eventually work. Keep in mind that the final design will be much more polished than the working prototype we’re showing in our hands-on gallery. The TicHome has a well thought-out design:
First of all, it is built to be affordable ($100) and compact (110mm diameter, 43mm for 276g). Secondly, it is battery-powered (2600 mAh) and can follow you when you need to. Moving one around is not a bad alternative to buying a bunch of them, and this goes back to affordability, one of the central theme in this product. It is splash-proof so that it could survive near a pool or in a bathroom/kitchen, but it should not be submerged.
Finally, it has a 3W speaker that bounces sound onto any flat surface to provide a clear sound. If no flat surface is available, it can be hung near a wall. Mobvoi has promised to deliver many color options to fit different styles of home interiors. There are two microphones placed to hear users from any directions.
The device connects to WiFi (a/b/g/n) to communicate with the Internet, but if for some reason, WiFi is not available, you can still use it as a Bluetooth Speaker. There are physical buttons to control the volume (up/down/mute) because screaming to ask a device to lower the volume is a frustrating situation (trust us…).
Because it is powered by Google Assistant in English, French, and German, the TicHome works like any other Google Assistant hardware and can perform the same tasks, answer the same questions.
Mobvoi specializes in voice-search and uses proprietary technology to do that in Chinese (in China). Outside of China, the company is partnering with Google, and this is not surprising since Mobvoi’s founders Yuanyuan Li and Zhifei Li are former Googlers. Mobvoi can be found at IFA 2017, Hall 4.2 Stand 209.
Filed in. Read more about IFA, ifa 2017.