CES 2017: Lenovo unveils Alexa-based Smart Assistant and Smart Storage

As with similar personal assistant devices, the Smart Assistant listens for its owner's voice commands, using Alexa to perform whatever it is you want: get calendar updates, play a song, make a list, and more.

Before CES 2017 fully kicks into gear, Lenovo has now unveiled its tubular speaker called Lenovo Smart Assistant, which comes with Amazon Alexa baked in. There is a volume control and a trigger button, although it has no dedicated mute button, unlike the Echo products and the Google Home.

Lenovo's Smart Assistant is priced cheaper than Amazon Echo at $129, compared to $180 for the full-sized Echo.

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"Bringing great smart home experience to more households and making the technologies more accessible is one of our big goals in the connected world", said the company. Check out these mobile Bluetooth options. The device features eight 360-degree far-field microphones with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation - created to pick up users' voice commands from up to 16 feet (5 meters) away, Lenovo says. Customers will be able to buy an upgraded version of the device that comes with Harman Kardon premium audio speakers instead of the standard speakers. Meanwhile, small companies like Jam have already adopted Alexa for its Jam Voice, another smart home hub.

Microsoft also announced last month that there will be a Harman Kardon speaker that's powered by its digital assistant, Cortana. The Smart Assistant is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 2GB of RAM. All smart home functionality of Alexa is also available via the Assistant, so you can turn on and off the lights and lock the door when needed by just using your voice. It is safe to say that more competition will come into the smart home market this year, Lenovo has clearly stepped its game up and other will surely follow. The device automatically backs up mobile data allowing users to access it from any location, and features in-built facial recognition software to help identify people in photos.

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