2016 saw a lot of participation from the tech industry and unprecedented growth in the world of connected devices, commonly called the Internet-of-Things. With more connected devices and creative solutions developed at a great speed, the IoT market is expected to grow to $1.7trillion by 2020.

As one of the biggest technology events of the year, CES 2017, is about to kick-off, we have the Chinese tech giant – Lenovo – coming up with some big news. In trying to expand the IoT and the Smart home ecosystem further, Lenovo has recently announced its Smart Home Assistant Speaker.

The Lenovo Smart Assistant launched in direct competition with Google Home and Amazon Echo. However, unlike the two having their proprietary AI solutions, Lenovo Smart Home Assistant is powered with Amazon Artificial Intelligence – Alexa.

The Smart Assistant will do similar tasks like the Echo does. Which includes, voice-based searches and answers, web search, playing music from playlists, controlling other associated smart home products and much more.

At the initial glance, you will find the design of the Smart Assistant to be much like Amazon Echo. The device features a colored speaker grill at the bottom with an aluminum casing at the top. Lenovo has unveiled its Smart assistant in three color options of Orange, Light Grey and Green.

The Smart Assistants speakers consist of eight 360 degree far-field microphones with acoustic echo cancellation and noise suppression. With such powerful built-in microphones, the speaker can hear voice commands from up to 16 feet.

The Lenovo Smart Assistant Speaker will give the company a significant boost in its pursuit of expanding smart home and IoT devices this year. It is expected to work across all Lenovo devices and even third-party devices as a central controller for your Smart Home.

Upon the launch of the new device Johnson Jia, Lenovo’s senior vice president, PC & Smart Device Business Group in a press statement said: “Our goal has never been to simply build smart home devices for the sake of advancing technology alone.”

Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa expressed his views saying “We’re excited to work with an innovative company such as Lenovo to bring the Lenovo Smart Assistant with Alexa to customers this spring.”

The Lenovo Smart Assistant is expected to be made available in May 2017, at a competitive pricing of $129. $50 less compared to the current Amazon Echo price.

The company is also planning to have a special version for the Smart Assistant which comes with Harmon Kardon speakers in a full-black shell and two-inch sound cavity at a price of $179.

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