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How To Break Through The Strange Circle Of Smart Speaker The Quality Is Good But Not Sell Well?
Oct 18, 2018

On a hot summer day, after a busy day, dragging the tired body to work home, open the door, open the porch lights, and rush to the soft sofa. At this moment you just want to rest or watch a TV, and you can’t find the TV. And the air conditioner remote control...

In the cold winter, after washing, I went to bed and turned on the light and read the book. Then I watched the mobile phone and the bed was warm. Just want to lie down and sleep, found that the lights in the living room or bathroom are not closed...

smart speakers

These scenes often appear in our daily lives, and the voice interaction provided by smart speakers is considered the best way to solve this situation.

In 2017, the double 11 smart speaker ushered in an important development node in China. Ali announced that the “Tmall Elf” sold 1 million units, and Jingdong’s “Dingdong Speaker” also achieved a three-digit year-on-year growth. Other smart speaker players are also more or less divided. Millions of successes have given the domestic market access to a smart speaker.

After a year of precipitation, China's smart speaker market has gathered four players: software platform vendors, including Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Jingdong, Cheetah, etc.; intelligent hardware manufacturers, with Xiaomi, Huawei as the typical; large appliance manufacturers Haier is typical; others include entrepreneurial companies such as Rokid, Going to Ask, and Himalayan. According to incomplete statistics, at present, there are nearly 50 companies that have released smart speaker products, and at least 500 related hardware companies or technology providers are active in the front line.

The reason why smart speakers have become the focus of “big bang” is that it is easy to find entry points and breakthroughs, such as single products and platforms, because of its wide range of fields. On the other hand, because of the huge market potential, everyone is likely to Take a share. Aowei cloud network data shows that in 2017, China's market sales reached 1.76 million units with sales of 490 million. It is estimated that the market sales volume in 2018 will be 4.25 million units, a year-on-year increase of 141%, and the sales volume will be 1.36 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 178%.

On the surface, many companies are fighting hard. In fact, smart speakers still haven't got rid of the embarrassing situation of “calling and not selling”.

Qian Chen, former CTO of Hammer Technology, once said that behind the 100 schools of thought, the concept of smart speakers may be played badly. It has also been asserted that Chinese smart speakers may seem hot, but most of them will die out.

There are two reasons. One is that the domestic smart speaker market is taking a low-price rapid penetration strategy, not profit-oriented, and pricing products low and low, which runs counter to normal market rules. For example, the original price of 499 yuan Tmall Elf only sells 99 yuan, the price of 299 yuan 叮咚 top sells 49 yuan of cabbage price. Chen Xiaoliang, chairman and CEO of Shengzhi Technology, once said that the process of burning money to accelerate market awareness and rapid deployment is of great benefit to cultivating users. But the way out for the product is definitely not to burn money, and ultimately to mine and satisfy the user experience.

Second, the industry is facing many problems such as weak innovation ability, poor product experience, lack of content and functions, and low user awareness. A survey from Avi Cloud (AVC) shows that 57% of consumers in China have heard of smart speakers, and 23% of consumers have a certain understanding of smart speakers, but the frequency and duration of consumers after purchase. not ideal.

Obviously, it takes a long way for smart speakers to really detonate the Chinese market. So now, how to break through the strange circle of "selling not well?"

First of all, the technical breakthrough is a step in the development of smart speakers.

In terms of human-computer interaction, voice technology is hard work. The more devices that wake up and activate, the more frequently users use, the better the speech recognition ability, reaction speed and learning ability are trained, and the more likely the product will quickly occupy the market.

At present, the voice interaction of smart speakers can only be handled in a pattern, relatively monotonous. Cross-scene, cross-task conversations often fail, and the ability to understand contextual information is weak. In addition to speech recognition, semantic understanding is a technical difficulty that major companies need to overcome.

Dr. Hong Xiaowen, Dean of Microsoft Research Asia, pointed out that to achieve 100% semantic understanding is an AI complete problem, and only if it solves other AI problems, it may be solved. "For example, if you go to a cocktail party, it's very noisy. I don't hear any ten of the ten words in your speech, but I know probably because of what you said, so even if I can't hear it, I can guess. What you are talking about. But if you use speech recognition and semantic understanding, you may fail. In specific application scenarios, in addition to speech, it also includes the comprehensive use of vision and knowledge, which is the future challenge of speech artificial intelligence."

Second, it makes sense to make a product that sticks to the user. Finding the most demanding and painful problems for domestic users will be the key. It is related to whether the smart box will last for the past 100 years. After the high-tech is played into the price of cabbage, the whole industry is badly played, and most manufacturers are out of the old. The road also determines whether the voice interactive platform derived from the smart speakers will become the key to the next generation operating system.

At present, smart speakers do not really catch the pain of users, no matter the function or the service behind it. For example, for users with high music requirements, the sound quality of smart speakers cannot meet the demand. For users who don't have such high music requirements, ordinary Bluetooth speakers are more economical.

Zhou Pin, director and senior vice president of Cheetah Mobile, believes that after the midfield, the logic of the smart speaker product will return to the essence of the sound, deep layout on the source of sound quality and music, and use the sound quality to attract and impress the original needs of the user on the speaker. .

In the view of Xiang Wenjie, vice president of Rokid, a startup company in Hangzhou, there are two directions for the development of smart speakers in the future: partial Internet gameplay, lowering speaker prices, and “sending” products to improve their business chains or product platforms. Turning out, "scattering" out, improving the user experience, so that users can not do without smart speakers.

In general, the potential demand of the market has always existed, allowing users to truly experience the joy of fun and experience of human-computer interaction through voice, in order to high-dimensional low-dimensional, fast break.

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