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Alibaba gives smart speaker 'sight'

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. launched a new platform for its smart speaker that has visual recognition capabilities, the Chinese e-commerce company said March 26.

AliGenie 2.0 can identify objects, read bedtime stories to children and recognize medicine bottles and flashcards, according to the company. The platform is used in Alibaba's Tmall Genie, a voice-controlled speaker sold only in China.

Users need to download the Genie FireEye mobile app and attach their smartphones to the XHolder, a phone stand connected to Tmall Genie.

Alibaba said it plans to add facial-recognition technology to the platform.