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Chinese Alexa or Chinese Google Home

Chinese Alexa or Chinese Google Home

With Google Home entering the VCD (Voice Command Device) market, people assumed that there will be a rivalry between Google and Amazon. Out of the blue a third competitor entered the stage out of China. This device named “Ling Long Ding Dong” (name is for real) will address the Chinese VCD market.

The DingDong, which costs the equivalent of $118, provides news, weather, and stock updates. It answers questions, manages schedules, provides directions, and plays music and audiobooks. It is the first product from Beijing LingLong Co., a $25 million joint venture between, China’s largest online retailer, and voice recognition powerhouse iFlytek.

The gadget weighs about 3 pounds and stands 9.5 inches tall. It is circular at the top and square on the bottom, and available in white, red, black, and purple. The shape symbolizes tiānyuán dìfāng—the notion that “heaven is round, Earth is square,” a concept that Liu says is central to LingLong’s design language. The colors also are imbued with meaning; white is associated with purity, and red with prosperity.

Three commands wake the device: DingDong DingDong, Xiaowei Xiaowei (a girl’s nickname), and BaiLing BaiLing(skylark). The DingDong comes in Mandarin and Cantonese versions (the engines required to understand the languages are too complex to include them both in one device). Most people speak Mandarin, and the myriad accents and dialects present a Herculean challenge. Still, the company claims the DingDong understands roughly 95 percent of the population.

The company will have their own skill market place, which will include applications and skills for home automation.



Google finally revealed more details around their Google Home assistant product on Oct 4th 2016. They also allow now pre-orders to be placed for their official release date of Nov 4th 2016.

Google is now entering the Voice control market, after they announced earlier this year working on an “Alexa like product but much better”. At the Oct 4th 2016 Google event, where Google announced a variety of new products and product refreshes, they provided a detailed insight into the new Google Home product line.

Let’s go over their major features and functions announced for Google Home. The appearance is the first item Google addressed by offering a variety of textures and colors to chose from. Amazon Echo is also available in white now and so will be the Echo Dots, when they are released October/E 2016.

Here is a video from Google demonstrating some use cases for Google Home.  Check it out.

A very important part of any voice assistant product line is their interoperability with “smart devices”. Alexa from Amazon has a huge head start, but Google is now starting and investing heavily in this area as well. Here is a comparison chart between Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Far-Field Speaker comparison

Comparing the two systems

The Google Home Speaker seems impressive around all corners and in all directions. Once the product is released more detailed sound comparisons can be conducted.

The Alexa Speaker has proven to be quite impressive in terms of sound quality and base waves. Given the size of that product, the sound it produces is quite excellent.

In summary:

Google is releasing a major competitor to Amazon’s Echo Alexa family. It lacks in some areas, while it has an advantage in other areas. In the end the ease of use, the integration and interoperability options will drive customer adoption. In either way, competition in the market place is always good because it benefits the end consumer… us!




Disclaimer: This blog and tweets represent my own view points and not of my employer, Amazon Web Services.

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