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Both the Soundcore Flare S+ (left) and the Eufy RoboVac 30C work with Alexa. (Picture: Anker)

Anker’s new robot vacuum has Alexa and Google Assistant

The RoboVac 30C and Soundcore Flare S+ both have support for voice assistants

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

Anker made a name for itself by creating high-quality power banks, headphones, and mobile accessories at acceptable prices. Now it’s doubling down on home gadgets as well.

This week, the China-based manufacturer unveiled a new smart robot vacuum and an improved smart speaker at Berlin’s IFA 2018 -- a consumer electronics trade show.

Anker, the Chinese startup behind Amazon’s most popular power banks

The RoboVac 30C, introduced under Anker’s home appliance brand Eufy, is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant -- an upgrade from its predecessor. The RoboVac 30 released earlier this year didn’t have smart connectivity, which meant it wasn’t very couch potato-friendly: If it gets stuck, you’ll have to get up and rescue it.
Sure, the 30C isn’t the first cleaner that works with a voice assistant -- there are plenty of other options from brands like Samsung. But at around US$299, it’s much cheaper than comparable offerings that sell for upwards of US$500.
Both the Soundcore Flare S+ (left) and the Eufy RoboVac 30C work with Alexa. (Picture: Anker)
Similarly, the Soundcore Flare S+ joins an increasingly crowded market of smart speakers. And it’s not even Anker’s first Alexa-powered gadget. The US$35 Eufy Genie -- an Echo Dot lookalike launched last year -- also plays music, sets alarms, and follows thousands of other Alexa commands.

But the S+ is the first Flare speaker to feature Alexa -- and it’s packed with all of the features that made the Flare series stand out. Marketed as a gadget that helps you “party smarter”, the speaker has a glowing ring of psychedelic colors at the bottom, creating a halo effect in the dark. It’s also waterproof in case you spill your drink on it or drop it in the pool, and serves as a portable charger.

Whether that’s worth the US$130 price tag is up for debate, considering how many Bluetooth smart speakers there are out there -- but the first Flare speaker, which costs less than half the price, has a pretty good 4.5 rating on Amazon.

The RoboVac 30C is expected to hit the shelves next month, followed by the Soundcore Flare S+ this holiday season.

Why aren’t people buying smart speakers in China?

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.