(BIDU), Harman (HAR) Enter Collaboration for Speech-Enabled Smart Speakers Development

September 1, 2016 6:37 AM EDT

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HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR) and Baidu, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) announced a global partnership at the annual Baidu World conference. Through this partnership, HARMAN will deliver high-quality audio solutions to innovative speech-enabled smart speakers, integrated with Baidu's advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

"Consumers want a connected lifestyle that elevates their everyday experiences. To realize the power and potential of this demand, HARMAN is focused on delivering technologies and solutions that offer sophisticated functionalities, personalized user interfaces and, importantly, seamless integration from home and work to the car and on the go," said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of HARMAN. "We are excited to expand HARMAN's relationship with Baidu which started with Connected Car implementing Baidu's Car Life, an industry first which led to further development with smart audio speakers that integrate Baidu's AI capabilities. Now consumers will have the best of all worlds with flawless sound quality, award-winning Harman Kardon design and advanced speech-enabled capabilities for an exceptional listening experience."

"The partnership between Baidu and HARMAN will let consumers use natural voice control to experience premium quality sound and on-demand services," said Andrew Ng, chief scientist of Baidu. "HARMAN will integrate a range of AI technologies from Baidu, including speech recognition, natural language processing and speech synthesis."

In January 2015, HARMAN Connected Car and Baidu entered into a strategic collaboration to launch CarLife, a vehicle networking solution that offers advanced Internet capabilities, entertainment features and location-based services on HARMAN's in-vehicle infotainment head units designed for the Chinese market. The new Kia K5 infotainment system developed by HARMAN Connected Car China is the industry's first in-vehicle infotainment system with Baidu CarLife that passed the Apple MFi certification. The new system is compatible with both Android smart phones and iPhones, opening a new era for smart phones and car connection in the Chinese market.

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