Deutsche Telekom uses IFA 2019 to introduce its first smart speaker. Unlike the Apple HomePod with Siri, Amazon Echo with Alexa and the Google Assistant, Deutsche Telekom combines two assistants in its intelligent speaker. Furthermore, this dominated landline telephony without additional equipment.
“Hello Magenta” also reacts to “Alexa”
The smart speaker of the German Telekom is to be available starting from the 6. September – also for rent. The first smart loudspeaker from Europe according to Telekom controls two language assistants. In addition to Amazon Alexa, Deutsche Telekom has created its own ecosystem for voice control with the Magenta Voice Assistant and integrated it into its first smart speaker.
The Magenta Voice Assistant is activated via “Hello Magenta” and dominates not only the services of Telekom but also the starting and controlling of apps most frequently used by Telekom customers.
We have been intensively training our Smart Speaker with our customers in recent months and continuously developing it further. We are pleased that the first smart speaker from Europe is now available to our customers.
Michael Hagspihl, Managing Director Private Customers
The Smart Speaker plays radio stations, creates shopping lists and tells you what the weather is like. Spotify Connect also lets you create playlists and sound your home's walls. On request, the intelligent loudspeaker also starts the landline telephony, without any additional equipment. Amazon Alexa can be optionally activated as a second language service via “Alexa”. How exactly does voice control work? The company has once again demonstrated in “How does voice control work?” (PDF).
Already announced at IFA 2017
After the smart speaker of Deutsche Telekom was already announced at the IFA 2017 as having servers in Germany, the company from Bonn had to announce in the same year that the German Alexa and Google assistant competition will be delayed.
At that time, Telekom had in particular written the European data protection rules on the flag and highlighted the location of the servers used in Germany. German servers are now out of the question. Rather, the company now speaks of one “Secure processing of customer data in the EU and by European companies”, This may indicate the manual evaluation of individual recordings by staff to improve the quality of speech recognition. This also uses Google, Apple, Amazon or Microsoft. After privacy concerns, Google suspended the manual evaluation for three months, Apple followed a little later. Microsoft announced that it would continue to adjust the process and that Amazon could manually shut down the evaluation.
Magenta Voice Assistant offers the highest data security. The processing of the data takes place exclusively within the European Union and follows the high privacy standards of Telekom. Until the activation word “Hello Magenta” the Smart Speaker is not active. For additional privacy, the microphones in the device can be switched off by pressing a button.
Data protection made by Deutsche Telekom
2 × 42 mm speaker with 25 watts and 3.5-mm jack connection
The German Telekom speaks of a stereo system with two 43 mm loudspeakers and a maximum output of 25 watts. The outputs provide a digital SPDIF output and a 3.5mm analog jack connection. In terms of connectivity, the intelligent speaker dominates dual-band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi 4 (formerly IEEE 802.11 n) at 2.4 GHz or Wi-Fi 5 (formerly IEEE 802.11ac) at 5 GHz. Four microphones are built-in for voice control and rely among other things on controlled adaptive beamforming.
The Smart Speaker of Deutsche Telekom is available between the 6th of September and the 31st of October at the special price of 100 Euro instead of 150 Euro or as a rental device for 5 Euro per month.