Almost two years ago, Amazon invested part of its $100 million Alexa Fund in Invoxia, a Paris-based startup. At the time, Invoxia was the one of the first companies to integrate Amazon’s voice assistant into its hardware with the Invoxia Triby, a tiny smart speaker which could even make phone and receive phone calls back in the day. But the smart speaker landscape has radically changed since then – there are now dozens of speakers that integrate with Alexa in addition to new competitors like the Google Home and Apple HomePod.
Invoxia Tries to Find Its Niche in the Smart Speaker Market
In order to stay competitive, Invoxia launched a new version of its Triby smart speaker this week which can now also be a voice-activated hub for Apple’s HomeKit. In addition to allowing HomeKit users to control their devices from beyond their smartphone, the speaker has five front buttons which users can also program to set scenes via HomeKit, like turn on lights or adjust the temperature in certain rooms. Another key difference is the Triby has a rechargeable battery, making it one of the only portable smart speakers on the market today. It is also available in the US, UK and Germany, the same three as Alexa and will retail for $199.
Triby is hoping it can reach tech savvy consumers who are open to new products and who also see smart home automation as one of the key benefits of owning a smart speaker. Invoxia owners also don’t have to be tied to one voice assistant as it plays nice with both Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit. But even Invoxia’s CEO Serge Renouard is aware of the uphill battle small startups like his face against tech giants like Amazon, Google and Apple:
“It has become difficult. [Competitors] all have enhanced products. And there are a lot of new brands, like Sonos, that will support Alexa or Google. It’s a real challenge for us. And that’s why we don’t try to just rely on the voice recognition stuff. We probably address a very limited population. But we address the tech people who were already interested in connected devices. That’s a population that’s very familiar with these technologies, and they’re open to new products.”