Deutsche Telekom develops its own voice assistant and smart speaker

Deutsche Telekom develops its own voice assistant and smart speaker
Deutsche Telekom, a leading telecommunication company in Germany, announced it will develop a voice assistant in-house for the growing smart home market.

The intelligent assistant will be called Magenta and it is able to control smart home services served by Deutsche Telekom. For example, a user can ask Magenta to change TV channels or turn the volume up or down while using the EntertainTV service provided by Deutsche Telekom.

Actions such as dimming the light and changing room temperature will also be possible. The telecom is also working with third-party partners like news program Tagesschau and on various applications.

The voice assistant will be developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology. The speaker will equipped with a compact high-end stereo audio system with two 42-mm loudspeakers, an output power of 25 watts, and four highly sensitive microphones – to deliver a quality acoustic system and voice-receiving system for voice control.

In addition, the smart speaker created by Deutsche Telekom will have Amazon Alexa Voice Services built-in. In other words, more than 25,000 existing Alexa skills will be accessible through the telecom’s smart speaker.

The German company highlighted the data privacy it ensures on the smart speaker – commands are only stored for 30 days in the company’s cloud. This not only protects the user’s privacy, but also follows Germany’s strict data protection law.

Voice commands using Amazon Alexa, however, will be sent to Amazon’s server, which does not have to conform to Deutsche Telekom’s policy.

By integrating Amazon Alexa into the smart speaker, Deutsche Telekom doesn’t intend to compete against the tech giant, but to access more customers who are already familiar with the German company. It works more like a gatekeeper between the foreign service and local consumers, while earning revenues from the business model as well.

Deutsche Telekom already operates a connected home platform in the country. The voice assistant which works directly with the platform is expected to be launched in the German market in the first half of 2018.

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