Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) U.S.-based search engine giant Google Inc., has teamed up with Taiwan Mobile Co., one of the largest telecom services providers in the country, to launch smart speaker Nest Mini, a Chinese language voice activated assistant.
Google's Nest Mini, which is able to respond to instructions in Mandarin Chinese, hit the local market Tuesday through Taiwan Mobile's sales network after eight years of development by the U.S tech company's research team in Taiwan.
According to Google, the new Chinese version of Nest Mini has been designed specifically for Taiwanese consumers and caters to Taiwanese users' syntax and pronunciation. It will provide a wide range of services such as playing music and news, providing reminders, turning lights on and off, ordering a vacuum robot to work etc.
Nest Mini has a Voice Match function, which is able to identify the voices of six different users and is expected to provide specific services to the different members of a family, Google said.
Hung Fu-li (洪福利), head of Google's research and development center in Taiwan, said at a news conference that his team is in charge of hardware and software development for Nest and is still looking at introducing further innovations.
Nest Lab was set up in California in 2010 and Hung was the first employee hired in Taiwan.
In 2014, Google acquired Next Lab and Hung's team became part of the American search engine giant.
Hung said the Taiwan team will continue to launch new products for smart family life to help new technology take root in the country.
Taiwan Mobile President Jamie Lin (林之晨) said he is upbeat about the sale of smart speakers, citing a recent report from U.S. market information advisory firm International Data Corp., which forecasts shipments of smart speakers worldwide will hit 150 million units in 2019.
In the Taiwan market, Lin said, Taiwan Mobile expects to ship about 300,000 units of the Chinese language version of the Nest Mini in 2020 after Tuesday's launch, with the product looking to take advantage of the telecom operator's content services and extensive sales network.
In addition, Lin said Google's advanced artificial intelligence technology is also expected to boost the visibility of the smart speaker in Taiwan.