Orange unveiled Djingo, a virtual assistant for the French market as part of what CEO Stephane Richard (pictured) described as a move to a “smarter society”, and finalised details of its Orange Bank service.

Speaking at the company’s annual technology showcase, ShowHello, Richard described the development of artificial intelligence (AI) as a drive towards an “augmented planet brimming with opportunities”.

Djingo will be controlled either through a speaker, a smart button in the home, or an Orange handset.

As with similar platforms available from a range of technology companies, Djingo will be able to answer questions, perform activities online and control devices around the home, including Orange TV services.

Talking-up the benefits of AI technology, Richard said there was no need to be afraid of technology developments. Rather, AI “is opening new prospects for today,” he said. “It can enrich our perception and puts us in a position to harness intelligence.”

“Some might be afraid of this evolution, but the question isn’t about danger, it’s about purpose.”

Smarter boxes
The introduction of an AI assistant is part of the company’s push to introduce smarter technology in homes, which includes the virtualisation of much of the hardware within its set-top and Wi-Fi boxes.

Its new system will reduce power by monitoring and intelligently allowing specific controls on Wi-Fi output.

Richard was quick to highlight the company’s green credentials and the importance of assessing the environmental impact of services.

“We have already halved CO2 emissions,” Richard said. “I’m sad to say the sector’s environmental impact is something we don’t talk about enough yet.”

He added Orange’s virtualised home kit, which will roll-out in 2018, would help reduce its environmental impact further.

Bank update
The company also revealed its Orange Bank service, which it first unveiled in 2016, will be given its public debut to French users on 6 July.

The service will be mobile-first and Delegate CEO Gervais Pellissier confirmed the company would look to roll-out the service across its European footprint, starting with Spain and Belgium.

For full details of Orange Bank, click here to read our in-depth report.