Although Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home are good at what they do, they cannot exactly do it in many languages. At best, Amazon’s offering can recognize German as well as American and British-English. Google Home can only do two iterations of English. Luckily, DreamWave’s Genie is the perfect solution for whenever the personal assistant is lost in translation.
Genie is a speaker that can connect to the phone’s Bluetooth and use either Siri or Google Now’s multi-language capabilities. This makes the use of Google Home and Alexa absolutely redundant in the overseas market. Users can use their own smartphone’s assistant and convert that speaker into an assistant in whatever language required; at least for up to a little more than 50 languages for now. All the languages incorporated in the Genie are ones used in Apple and Android eco-systems. This means Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and many others.
According to a report by Digital Trends, while the Genie can provide the multilingual feature that the Echo and the Google Home can’t, the device will not be able to replicate other features like Amazon’s and Google’s offerings can. The Genie is limited to just multi-language operation and without the phone, it is practically only a speaker. There are no skills of its own such as operation of other smart home appliances as well. Having said that, this device can entirely decimate its current competition with the sole purpose of being able to be controlled in different languages – an area of operation that the most prominent smart speakers greatly lack.
The device can access the abilities of now only Siri and Google Assistant but can also access Cortana. The battery life of the device is also touted to be up to 10 hours based on usage. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The device, apart from acting as an assistant, can also be used to answer calls and listen to music. The company behind the Genie is making its product available on Kickstarter and the early-bird pricing for the device will be available at $40.
However, for those who already have an Echo or the Google Home, all it might take is a simple update for the two devices to catch up to the Genie, which is where the Genie’s only threat remains. For the simple user who just wants a speaker that can primarily be used for recognizing languages apart from English, the Genie will be an attractive choice. But the demographic audience for this device does seem niche.