Russia takes on Amazon and Google with its own smart speaker

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Russian search giant Yandex has launched its own home assistant smart speaker as it looks to take on the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

The company unveiled a $160 smart speaker called Yandex.Station on Tuesday. It is designed to work alongside the Russian-speaking intelligent assistant called Alice, unveiled in October last year.

In a blog post Tuesday, the search engine claimed that “Station” is the first smart speaker specifically designed for the Russian market. It also said it is the first smart speaker to incorporate a full video streaming experience.

“An HDMI output allows Yandex.Station users to ask Alice to search for and playback videos, movies and television shows from a wide variety of sources,” the post said.

As part of the same announcement, Russian households can now pay 169 rubles per month ($2.75) to a new online service called Yandex.Plus, an online delivery platform similar in design to Amazon Prime.

That subscription will grant access to music and video streaming as well as discounts on taxis and some free deliveries from the firm’s online marketplace, Yandex.Market.

The speaker and “Prime-style” service is promised to go on sale in Russia later this summer.

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