CES 2016, LAS VEGAS,– The premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, HARMAN International (NYSE: HAR) announced at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas it will enter into a strategic cooperation with JD.com (Nasdaq: JD), China’s largest direct online sales company. Chee Meng Koay, VP and GM, HARMAN Lifestyle Audio Division, Greater China, and Eric Wang, CEO of JD.com’s smart device platform and business unit JD Smart, announced the alliance.
The first endeavor of the partnership is a smart wireless Bluetooth speaker, JBL Go Smart, which features voice control capabilities. HARMAN International and JD.com will also work together to create smart home products incorporating innovative technologies and features such as voice control and speaker interconnectivity to enable users to enjoy a seamless experience across their smart hardware and speakers.
The JBL Go Smart portable smart speaker was jointly developed by HARMAN, JD.com, and Linglong Technology (a joint venture between JD.com and iFLYTEK). In addition to its flawless sound quality, the product also integrates the JD+ Smart Audio Solutions system and supports voice recognition. Leveraging HARMAN’s expertise in professional audio equipment and JD Smart’s smart audio technology, the device is designed to act as a voice-controlled smart home device that can integrate with, and control, other smart devices around the user’s home.
As Mr. David Jin, president and chairman of HARMAN Northeast Asia and Greater China puts it, “Over the years, HARMAN has been dedicated to the R&D and manufacturing of advanced audio products and the perfection of sound systems, and we are striving to promote our products and technologies to a broader market while consistently expanding our hardware services. HARMAN hopes to combine JD.com’s advantages in smart hardware with our powerful audio technologies, allowing us to offer our innovative smart hardware technologies and perfect sound quality to more consumers. This new product marks the start of our mutual cooperation, and the parties will launch more high-tech products in the future.”
Eric Wang, CEO of JD Smart added, “The JBL Go Smart is a great example of how combining high-quality audio with smart home technology can create new and innovative solutions for users. By integrating HARMAN’s high-quality audio technology with our leading-edge smart home solutions and powerful JD Weilian platform, the JBL Go Smart gives users a true smart home experience, allowing them to control various smart devices through simple voice commands alone. We’re excited to work with HARMAN on this product and to deliver users not just a superior audio experience but also a true smart life experience.”
JBL Go Smart will support both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth streaming so users can enjoy it at home and on–the-go. When on Wi-Fi, it can connect with a range of cloud-based resources that include voice search and recognition functions and a massive bank of content. Through simple voice instructions, the user can select from three million songs on the system’s cloud-based music library, and search for the latest news and weather.
Tapping in to the JD Weilian platform, JD Smart’s smart home operating platform, the JBL Go Smart speaker also enables voice control of other appliances on the platform, giving users a seamless experience across devices. The built-in rechargeable battery allows up to 5 hours of playtime. JBL Go Smart will be available on JD Mall in Q2 2016 at a price of ￥399, in a choice of 2 colors (blue or red).
JD Weilian launched in November 2014 and is already integrated into a range of smart products and solutions. More than 1.5 million JD Weilian-enabled units had been sold as of the end of September 2015, covering more than 1,000 products in 42 categories. Over 100 tier-1 brands offer products supporting JD Weilian. JBL Go Smart is the first smart speaker from HARMAN that can be voice controlled and connected to JD Weilian. As an entry point into the JD+ smart home ecosystem, the speaker enables unified control of smart devices within the JD+ ecosystem and also enables interconnection with other products across brands and categories.
In addition to the JBL Go Smart, HARMAN and JD.com will cooperate on another new generation product, the JBL Horizon Smart wireless Bluetooth speaker, which is expected to debut in July 2016. While retaining the innovative appearance of the first generation product, it will feature an upgraded button design and functionality that will enable “Press-to-talk” voice control, search, and other related features. With the Bluetooth/Internet music toggle button, a user can enjoy a massive amount of entertainment and information resources while connected to cloud via Wi-Fi. In the future, both parties will launch more products to satisfy the diversified demands of consumers.
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HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for consumers, automakers, and enterprises worldwide, including audio, visual, and infotainment systems; enterprise automation solutions; and software services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® , Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. HARMAN also is a technology and integration services leader for the Automotive, Mobile, Telecommunications and Enterprise markets. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. The Company’s software solutions power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated, personalized, adaptive and secure across all platforms, from the work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 28,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.4 billion during the last 12 months ended September 30, 2015.
About JD.com, Inc
JD.com, Inc. is China’s leading online direct sales company and the country’s largest Internet company by revenue. The Company strives to offer consumers the best online shopping experience. Through its content-rich and user-friendly website jd.com and mobile applications, JD.com offers a wide selection of authentic products at competitive prices and delivers products in a speedy and reliable manner. The Company believes it has the largest fulfillment infrastructure of any e-commerce company in China. JD.com operated 7 fulfillment centers and a total of 196 warehouses in 46 cities, and in total 4,760 delivery stations and pickup stations in 2,266 counties and districts across China, staffed by its own employees. JD.com is a member of the NASDAQ100.