How to Learn Chinese with Lily, the Smart AI-Powered Speaker

Learning another language has never been easy, but developers at Maybe want to make it simple and effective with Lily, a smart speaker that can teach you Chinese.

There are hundreds of great gadgets on the market, but can any of them teach you a foreign language? A team of Chinese language learners who specialise in voice processing have invented a device that can teach you Chinese. Lily is a voice-controlled speaker that makes learning Chinese easy through total immersion in the language using speech.

The pilot batch was released in October 2018 with mass production carried out from January 2019 onwards.

The gadget aims to help you improve the level of your Chinese by having real interactive conversations with it. Lily replies with a human voice to replicate a real life conversation with a Chinese speaker.

Five Lily Chinese speakers in five colors on a white background.
Lily uses speech recognition to understand what you say and uses voice synthesis to reply with a human voice.

Forget About Books, Learn Chinese the Fun Way

Memorising long vocabulary lists and reading multiple books will also be a thing of the past. The speaker comes with integrated voice games that enable to actively learn Chinese, making language acquisition fun and memorable. Additionally, paired with a mobile app, users can learn Chinese characters or study the breakdown of words and phrases.

The Maybe team collaborated with professional Chinese tutors to develop simple language training programmes that fit the level that you are working towards. The progress-tracking system in the mobile app lets you know if you are on track to reach your chosen Chinese target level in 3, 6, or 12 months.

Person touching Lily Chinese speaker on a beige background with Chinese letters and additional specifications.
The team at Maybe develop specific voice AI technology that allows to understand people speaking Chinese with a strong accent.

360-Degree Sound and Technology that Understand Strong Accents

Lily was designed to offer great sound quality from wherever you listen to it. The sound output was created with a 360-degree by 100-degree constant directivity horn, resulting in rich vocals from anywhere within the listening window.

The creators had to develop specific voice AI technology that is able to understand people speaking Chinese with a strong accent and synthesize a voice that can speak both English and Chinese fluently.

After Q2 2019, Maybe will be adding more languages to Lily, starting with French and Spanish. For those who buy Lily before the new languages are added, a free software update will add the new languages to the device.

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Magdalena is writing about innovations and recent investments in the startup world. Originally coming from Slovakia, Magdalena has been writing for one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Europe and has now immersed herself into the world of startups. Her educational background in Finance and Business Informatics has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. In addition to that, she is a tech geek, passionate photographer and a lifelong dog lover.

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