Huawei announced an Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker to be released in 2019, the AI Cube. The company has not commented on whether or not they will release the speaker in the United States or China. However, European consumers can expect the smart home speaker space to get a little more crowded at the end of 2018. Huawei introduced the AI Cube at this year’s International Funkausstellung in Berlin and threw some new features into the smart speaker competition.

The first thing to note on initial glance at the Huawei AI Cube is that it is not actually in the shape of a cube. When Nintendo launched the Nintendo Gamecube, it ultimately took on the appearance of a cube, but maybe Nintendo was just too basic. On the other hand, the Huawei Cube while not aesthetically displeasing,  is a clear misnomer. The cylindrical shape and color scheme are more reminiscent of a Google Home, but the Cube will ship Alexa-equipped.

Huawei AI Cube

Huawei AI Cube Hardware

Huawei is generally known for its mobile hardware and networking technology and true to form, the AI Cube will have the capacity to function as a router. The router will sport both a slot for an LTE SIM card and an ethernet port. These functions will allow the consumer to use the Huawei as router and networking hub within their home. The routing function may serve as a key distinguishing feature as Huawei looks to break into a field already occupied by Google’s Home, Apple’s HomePod, and Amazon’s Echo.

The AI Cube will weigh 2 lbs, measure 8.6 inches tall with a 4.57 diameter, and support 802.11ac dualband Wi-Fi. Speaking to the AI Cube will use the four far-field voice recognition microphones. There is a question is to how well these will function in comparison to Amazon Echo’s seven microphone set up. The tech giant has not been forthcoming on the details or pricing of the AI Cube, but its global market power in the consumer electronic product arena affords the Chinese firm its silence.

Featured image courtesy of Huawei