Alibaba’s AI-powered smart mirror grants beauty wishes on command

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(Image credit: Alibaba)

Chinese tech giant Alibaba took the wraps off a voice-activated mirror, dubbed Tmall Genie Queen, at its annual beauty summit held Monday in Shanghai. The responsive mirror aims to tap into the growing beauty demand from China’s increasingly tech-savvy female consumers.

Consisting of a smart speaker base and an eight-inch smart mirror, the new gadget is powered by Alibaba’s AliGenie voice assistant, which also powers its hugely popular AI speaker Tmall Genie. The e-commerce giant has shipped around 10 million of the Genie devices since product launch in July 2017.

For the voice-activated mirror, users can adjust different light settings through voice command to ensure they can see their faces perfectly, whether in a bright coffee shop or a dark bar.

Tmall Genie Queen is now open for public testing, but no details regarding its shipment date or price were disclosed at the event.

As a concept, smart mirrors aren’t new though. Plenty of companies such as CareOS and H&M have built voice-activated mirrors, but most of them are body length or upper body length mirrors that are sold for hundreds of dollars. Such products have yet to gain a foothold in the Chinese market.

Further, like the Tmall Genie, the mirror can order items from Alibaba’s shopping site Tmall.

The device also offers various information services such as weather forecasts, beauty tips, and allows users to control other devices such as air conditioning units with voice commands.

Voiceprint recognition technology ensures that only authorized users can place orders, according to Alibaba.

“The proportion of women purchasing electronic products is basically on par with that of men,” said Chen Lijuan, head of Alibaba’s AI Labs, the group behind the product. “Women’s purchase rate of household appliances has exceeded 60%.”

Sales of smart beauty devices, such as smart skin detector, more than doubled in 2018, Chen added.

At the same event, Tmall presented its Alibaba Business Operating System again, this time focusing on how it can help beauty brands. The system, which was launched in January, is positioned by Alibaba as a “one-stop solution” that helps brands digitally transform across a range of functions such as sales, logistics and supply chain management.