Yandex Debuts Smart Home Ecosystem Powered by Intelligent Assistant, Alice


Yandex, a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning, unveiled Russia’s first smart home ecosystem powered by the company’s intelligent assistant, Alice.

Alice can now turn on lights, adjust a thermostat, control a TV, or even make coffee. Leading manufacturers such as Philips, Xiaomi, Samsung, and Redmond will offer Yandex smart home compatible products, including smart bulbs, plugs, and appliances.

“A year ago we brought Alice into users’ homes with the launch of Russia’s first smart speaker, Yandex.Station. These new smart home capabilities will offer Russian users the next level of automated living, complementing Alice’s existing comprehensive skill set. Today we’re bringing our users a voice-controlled smart home ecosystem powered by Yandex’s world-class speech and AI technologies,” says Denis Chernilevsky, Head of Alice-enabled device development at Yandex.

Users can control their smart home devices at home or on the go from many platforms powered by Alice. For example, users can launch Alice on their smartphone and ask her to turn on the house lights on their way back home.

The platform also supports customized scenarios whereby multiple smart home accessories are activated with a single command. For example, a user can program Alice to respond to “Good Morning, Alice” with a sequence of commands that turn on an electric kettle, plays their favorite music station and even raises the temperature on the thermostat.

In addition to supporting third-party smart home devices, Yandex is releasing a range of its own gadgets – the Smart Bulb, the Smart Plug, and the Smart Remote Control. Users can control the brightness and color of the Smart Bulb, and the Smart Plug can power on any device with voice commands.

The Smart Remote Control enables Alice to control devices with infrared remote controls including air conditioners and TVs. Starting today, Yandex’s smart devices are available on Beru (Yandex’s e-Commerce marketplace), at the Yandex store in Moscow, and later in June through Svyaznoy retail locations. The Smart Bulb and the Smart Plug are available for 1,190 rubles ($19) each and the Smart Remote Control will sell for 1,390 rubles ($21).

In 2017, Yandex launched Alice, offering a Russian-speaking intelligent assistant with the ability to perform tasks across the Yandex ecosystem. Today, Alice has tens of millions of monthly active users and is equipped to help users navigate their daily routines with skills from Yandex and third-party developers.

Alice is available on multiple platforms including Yandex.Station smart speaker, Yandex Search App, Yandex.Browser, Yandex.Phone, LG WK7Y smart speakers, Elari SmartBeat, Irbis A and DEXP Smartbox, Elari KidPhone 3G children’s smartwatches, Sony Xperia Ear Duo headphones, as well as Yandex.Navigator and other Yandex products and services. Devices in Yandex’s smart home system will be distinguished by a “Works with Alice” label.