Orange has pushed back the launch of its Djingo smart speaker to spring 2019, as it announced it will provide access to Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.
The speaker had been due to launch this summer in France and in Spain by the end of 2018. No reason was given for the delay.
The French telco built the Djingo digital assistant in partnership with Deutsche Telekom and provides access to Orange services such as making hands-free calls at home, controlling Orange TV as well as other connected home services.
Orange announced it was partnering with Amazon at its sixth annual Hello show product showcase. It said both artificial intelligence services would “bring the richest experience to customers”. It said it would work with the digital giant in future to introduce multi-assistant compatibility to other products.
It said the speaker will also introduce services from OUI.Sncf, Deezer, Radio France and Météo France.
Every Orange store will sell the Djingo smart speaker from spring next year.
Elsewhere, CEO Stéphane Richard said Orange was planning to introduce 5G to 17 European cities next year, ahead of a commercial launch in 2020. The operator’s Belgian and Polish opcos have carried 5G demonstrations this autumn.
Richard cited driverless cars, drones, smart cities, industrial automation and healthcare as the most attractive 5G use cases.
Orange also announced Connect Home, which will link connected objects through its Livebox router and set-top box once its software is updated in spring 2019. Compatibility with IoT brands such as Philips Hue, Bosch and Netatmo will follow the solution’s launch.
A new Protected Home subscription-based solution will connect a home to a video surveillance centre that will issue a call to local police if necessary.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: “To fight digital exclusion, Orange chooses inclusive innovation: useful and simple innovations that are accessible to the greatest possible number of people.
“To do so, we deploy the best fixed and mobile networks across the country. We secure and facilitate our customers’ digital lives thanks to our expertise in cybersecurity and in digital identity. We help all our customers enter the eras of artificial intelligence and of the Internet of Things.
“All of this, to enable them to participate in a new form of digital society. A progressive, free and enlightened society.”