STEP ASIDE Amazon Alexa! On your bike Google Home! The Chinese are coming.
The LingLong DingDong is the latest smart home voice control to hit the market, with the company promising that it can communicate in various dialects of Chinese meaning that it can be used by 95 percent of the 1,340,000,000(ish) population.
You do have to pick your version, though, as it can’t do both. Each DingDong can only manage to understand one tongue.
The makers of the DingDong told Wired that although two companies worked in isolation at the same time on the concepts, the release of the Amazon Echo influenced the final product. However, it shouldn't be seen a 'copycat'. Rather like 'Sherlock' and 'Elementary', then.
The LingLong DingDong lets you sing along with your fave song via its built-in MP3 speaker, and also has rudimentary English tutoring skills so that when children speak English using the LingLong DingDong they won't get a thing wrong.
At just 698 yuan (around 81 quid) the DingDong seems strong in its ability to bring on smart home devices, as well as answering questions about whether the wind’s strong or maintaining a shopping list (order a string thong?).
The device is a $25m investment between LingLong, iFlytek and JD.com, a Chinese e-tailing giant. A King Kong if you will.
It can't play Mahjong as yet, but if enough DingDong users march on LingLong demanding Mahjong, it may happen. It also can't play ping pong. Because it’s a small cylindrical speaker with a microphone that becomes a square at the base representing that the earth is square and heaven is round. Not going touch that one with a barge pole. Or a big dong.
Wake words for the LingLong DingDong are "Xiaowei Xiaowei" (girls name), "BaiLing BaiLing" (skylark) and of course "DingDongDingDong" (which is, let’s face it, the one everyone will want to use).
And for the record, despite the social media buzz, we don't think just making things rhyme is racist. µ
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