The product in question is called the LingLong DingDong and, no, it’s not an early April Fools’ prank – it’s made by a Beijing-based company called LingLong.
Like the Echo and Home, it’s a speaker with AI smarts that boasts a familiar feature set, including playing music (from the library of Chinese search giant Baidu, not Spotify), note-taking, and providing updates on the news, weather, and traffic conditions.
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The speaker stands 9.5-inches tall and weighs approximately 1.5kg, playing back songs in 320Kbps or “cinema-like sound quality”.
The big difference between the DingDong and Echo, of course, is that the Chinese speaker is fluent in Chinese – both Mandarin and Cantonese variants are available – as well speaking some basic English.
Costing 800 yuan – roughly £95 or $115 – it’s obviously not going to be made available outside of China, where it comes in black, white, red and purple flavours and is sold by online retailer JD.com.
Wired first reported the launch of speaker, with the company revealing that the product’s design is meant to symbolise the Chinese concept of tiānyuán dìfāng – that’s “heaven is round, Earth is square,” to you and I.
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Is LingLong DingDong the kookiest name for a gadget ever? Sound off in the comments below.