September 01, 2016 00:00 ET

HARMAN and Baidu Form Global Partnership to Develop Speech-Enabled Smart Speakers

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwired - Sep 1, 2016) - HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, announced today a global partnership at the annual Baidu World conference. Through this partnership, HARMAN will deliver high-quality audio solutions to innovative speech-enabled smart speakers, integrated with Baidu's advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

"Consumers want a connected lifestyle that elevates their everyday experiences. To realize the power and potential of this demand, HARMAN is focused on delivering technologies and solutions that offer sophisticated functionalities, personalized user interfaces and, importantly, seamless integration from home and work to the car and on the go," said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of HARMAN. "We are excited to expand HARMAN's relationship with Baidu which started with Connected Car implementing Baidu's Car Life, an industry first which led to further development with smart audio speakers that integrate Baidu's AI capabilities. Now consumers will have the best of all worlds with flawless sound quality, award-winning Harman Kardon design and advanced speech-enabled capabilities for an exceptional listening experience."

"The partnership between Baidu and HARMAN will let consumers use natural voice control to experience premium quality sound and on-demand services," said Andrew Ng, chief scientist of Baidu. "HARMAN will integrate a range of AI technologies from Baidu, including speech recognition, natural language processing and speech synthesis."

In January 2015, HARMAN Connected Car and Baidu entered into a strategic collaboration to launch CarLife, a vehicle networking solution that offers advanced Internet capabilities, entertainment features and location-based services on HARMAN's in-vehicle infotainment head units designed for the Chinese market. The new Kia K5 infotainment system developed by HARMAN Connected Car China is the industry's first in-vehicle infotainment system with Baidu CarLife that passed the Apple MFi certification. The new system is compatible with both Android smart phones and iPhones, opening a new era for smart phones and car connection in the Chinese market.

HARMAN ( designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company's software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 29,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.9 billion during the 12 months ended June 30, 2016. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.

Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. As a technology-based media company, Baidu aims to provide the best and most equitable way for people to find what they're looking for. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, Baidu provides an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers. Baidu's ADSs trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "BIDU". Currently, ten ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share.


© 2016 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

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