AI Cube is Huawei's first Alexa-powered smart speaker

AI Cube is Huawei's first Alexa-powered smart speaker

North American availability, though, is unconfirmed, and given the unwelcoming regulatory environment for Huawei in the USA right now, it's not hard to imagine the company deciding to skip that market altogether. Users just need to insert a SIM card to make it a router.

Also if you didn't notice from the picture above, it's not actually a cube.

In terms of its audio capabilities the Huawei AI Cube is said to deliver 360-degree sound, although it's not touting any fidelity-level quality here. With Amazon Alexa on-board Huawei can launch their speaker with the support of a full ecosystem of partners, skills and developers. We are still waiting on details but from what was announced on stage it looks like the device would include a battery making this both a portable speaker and a portable 4G hotspot, I have to say that's an intriguing idea.

Paired with a 4G SIM card it can reach download speeds of up to 300Mbps, but it also supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi channels for speeds of up to 1,200Mbps.

Those first two paragraphs sum up Huawei's first stab at a smart speaker pretty neatly.

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The company also ensures that you can enjoy virtual bass, adaptive controls, and a linear phase equalizer thanks to its Histen technologies.

On the plus side, with far-field voice recognition, it seemed to respond quickly to being woken with the word "Alexa" and it was able to make out commands even in a room with a fair bit of hustle and bustle. The design employs a matte white body with a seamless 3D mesh base, and Huawei claims can "blend in with any home decor easily". The worldwide smart home devices market, inclusive of smart speakers and other devices, is forecast to ship 549.5 million devices in 2018, growing 26.8% over the prior year, according to a report from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Build is minimalistic, with ports hidden underneath the base, which is 218mm tall, and 116mm in diameter.

Alongside Huawei AI Cube, the company has also unveiled Huawei Locator, a small locator which relies on GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou signals to offer real-time geolocation of the user. Fifteen R&D centers have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China.

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