The China Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance (AIIA), a division of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), has announced the first five Chinese-made smart speakers to be certified under its smart speaker intelligence guidelines, including speakers from Cheetah Mobile, Xiaomi, Ximalaya, Baidu and JD.com. Among the five, three of them are powered (wholly or in part) by Orion Voice OS, a far-field voice control platform developed by Cheetah Mobile-invested AI company OrionStar. Cheetah Mobile’s smart speaker, Cheetah Voicepod, and Ximalaya’s Xiaoya smart speaker both utilize Orion Voice OS’s complete suite of voice interaction technology, while Xiaomi’s smart speaker uses its voice recognition and voice synthesis technology.
“This certification represents a major milestone for Cheetah Mobile and our industry partners,” said Bruce Wang, Chief Strategy Officer at OrionStar. “Intelligent voice technologies are becoming increasingly important, not just in smart speakers, but in all types of smart devices. We recognize that every user is different, so our number one goal is to provide comprehensive platforms and intuitive products that intelligently address the real-life needs of users.”
Smart speaker products use voice recognition, voice synthesis, natural-language understanding, and other voice technologies to provide users with a more convenient and efficient way to consume information and content, but currently there are numerous types of smart speakers on the market with varying standards of quality. To address this issue, the AIIA formulated a smart speaker evaluation system to objectively assess smart speaker intelligence, in an effort to standardize the market, protect market order, and provide a trustworthy frame of reference for consumers. The evaluation process consists of 12 tests covering user security, voice recognition capabilities, wake up rate, and other intelligence indicators.
Of the five products certified by the AIIA, three of them utilize Orion Voice OS technologies. As of now, more than 30% of China’s smart speakers utilize OrionStar’s voice technology, satisfying more than 20 million requests per day. In addition to its smart speaker, Xiaomi’s smart voice assistant “Xiao Ai”, powered in part by Orion Voice OS, can be found on Xiaomi’s entire sweet of voice-controlled smart devices, with more than 30 million MAUs as of July 2018, according to Xiaomi.
OrionStar’s Orion Voice OS integrates multiple far-field voice technologies, including voice wake up, voice recognition, semantic understanding and voice synthesis for faster and more precise interactions, with average response speeds of 1.5 seconds. It also has the highest long-range voice recognition rate in the industry, while possessing an extremely natural synthetic voice that gives users a more natural interactive experience. In addition to Cheetah Voicepod, Orion Voice OS technologies are being used by multiple industry partners, including Xiaomi, Ximalaya, Midea and Smartisan.
Cheetah Mobile’s self-developed smart speaker, Cheetah Voicepod, features the highest rated sound quality in the industry according to blind listening tests. It was also recognized as having the “Highest Sound Quality of Chinese High-End Smart Speakers” by the Chinese Institute of Electronics. In terms of content, Voicepod users have access to more than 17 million songs through QQ Music, China’s largest music streaming service, and another 100 million pieces of content from Ximalaya, Tencent News and other sources. At the same time, it also offers the industry’s largest selection of children’s content, including educational content, nursery rhymes and short stories.