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Yandex Unveils Smart Home Gadgets, Expands Alice Adoption

Zacks Equity Research

The ever-changing landscape of this data-driven world has created a niche for smart home products. Further, the emergence of virtual assistants embedded with artificial intelligence (AI) techniques has spurred demand for smart home products.

Recently, Yandex YNDX unveiled Russia’s first smart home ecosystem powered by Alice. This smart assistant enables users to control their smart home devices from many platforms. 

Manufacturers like Philips, Xiaomi, Samsung and Redmond will offer Alice-enabled products namely smart bulbs, plugs and appliances. With the release of these products, Yandex will have more people to get into its ecosystem, thereby increasing Alice’s adoption.

In addition, Yandex has launched a range of its own gadgets — the Smart Bulb, Smart Plug and the Smart Remote Control.

The recent move highlights that the company is increasingly focusing on the smart home space, with the goal of projecting Alice, Russian-speaking intelligent assistant, as an important part of one’s life.

New Smart Home Products to Aid Alice’s Adoption

Notably, Alice was introduced as the first Russian-speaking intelligent assistant, which integrates multiple services with one centralized tool. It uses deep neural network technology and large databases to converse using natural language.

The company noted that Alice’s responses are based on dynamic data collected from users unlike its competitors’ intelligent assistants, which depend more on scripted responses. Per Telegraph, Alice was also found responding positively to violence like few other intelligent assistants.

Alice is already available on mobile, desktop and cars-navigation app. This apart, it combines many Yandex services such as Search, News, Weather, Music, Maps and Taxi. The service also offers more than a dozen games.

Summing Up

The smart home market is poised to grow at a rapid pace. Per Zion Market Research, this market is anticipated to grow to $53 billion by 2022. This has made other tech giants aggressively explore the space as well.

Last year, Yandex launched Yandex. Station, which is equipped with its Russian-speaking voice assistant called Alice. The speaker has Bluetooth capabilities, powerful audio specs and HDMI port for streaming television.

The expansion of its ecosystem comes at a time when Yandex is diversifying the company’s core search engine business as well as artificial intelligence (AI) based products. Notably, other competitors like Alphabet GOOGL, Amazon and Apple AAPL haven’t yet explored the Russian market, lending Yandex a significant edge in turn.

Search and Portal continues to be the bread and butter of Yandex. The segment’s (73% of total revenues) revenues increased 26% from the year-ago quarter to 27.12 billion roubles in the first quarter. Notably, its market share reached 57% during the quarter.

For fiscal 2019, Yandex increased the guided range for revenue growth in Search and Portal from 18-20% to 19-21% in rouble terms.

Yandex’s latest rollout highlights the company’s increased focus on the fast-growing smart home market and competitive advantage.

Yandex N.V. Price and Consensus

 

Yandex N.V. Price and Consensus

Yandex N.V. price-consensus-chart | Yandex N.V. Quote

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Yandex has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Facebook, Inc. FB, IAC/InterActiveCorp IAC and AXT, Inc. AXTI, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Facebook, IAC/InterActiveCorp and AXT is currently projected at 20.2%, 20.5% and 15%, respectively.

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