Yandex Unveils Compact Smart Speaker with Gesture Control – Yandex.Station Mini

Internet, October 9, 2019. Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning, has introduced a new smart speaker, Yandex.Station Mini. Yandex.Station Mini is the company's first compact smart speaker and offers native integration with Yandex's intelligent assistant, Alice, as well as gesture control. With just a motion of the hand, users can adjust the volume, snooze the alarm clock, or stop an audio fairytale when their children fall asleep. 

Yandex.Station Mini will expand the Alice community of 45 million monthly users, who are using the intelligent assistant through a growing ecosystem of smart speakers, as well as mobile and desktop apps.  Alice users can perform a variety of tasks ranging from controlling smart home devices and playing music to setting reminders and telling bedtime stories.

"We believe that intelligent assistants like Alice are the future of how we interact with technology," says Mikhail Bilenko, head of Machine Intelligence and Research at Yandex. "With Alice, people complete thousands of tasks via voice - and with Yandex.Station Mini, they can now use simple hand gestures as well. Yandex.Station Mini is an affordable, compact addition to the Alice ecosystem that will bring the intelligent assistant to even more homes. "

The gesture detection sensor of Yandex.Station Mini also makes it a unique musical instrument.  Users can generate a variety of sounds by moving their hands, much like playing the theremin, a hands-free electronic musical instrument.   Yandex engineers collaborated with several musicians on developing this feature.   They include Peter Theremin, a composer and great-grandson of the theremin's inventor, experimental musician Anton Maskeliade and Monoleak Studio.  The result is a growing library of sounds, ranging from those of a classical guitar and violin to exotic sounds, such as clashing swords or a working spaceship. 

Yandex.Station Mini will be available in black and white starting October 30 at the Yandex store in Moscow for 3,990 rubles ($60).  Yandex.Station Mini owners will receive a three-month subscription to Yandex.Plus, which includes unlimited streaming on Yandex.Music, as well as discounts and bonuses for a number of Yandex services.


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Matvey Kireev
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