Line Joins Voice Assistant Party With Clova

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Like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft before them, the Japanese company behind messaging app LINE is planting their stake in the world of mobile voice assistants.

The company’s effort, called Clova, will reportedly be developed with the goal of gaining the same level of market penetration as Amazon’s Echo and Alexa have in the US within Asia.

“Clova is a platform that incorporates various AI technologies, including voice, visual and conversational engines which allow users to interact with the platform without touching the screen,” LINE CEO Idezawa Takeshi said.

He says that Clova will come enabled for all the basic things you’d expect out of a voice assistant like listening to news, scheduling appointments, checking the weeather and ordering products.

LINE have also indicated it’ll include advanced facial recognition and be built from the ground up with third-party apps in mind.

The new voice assistant will roll out through two products initially: the Clova ‘Face’ Smart Display  and the Clova ‘Wave’ Smart Speaker.

Clova is being built with help from LINE’s Korean parent company, Naver.

LG and Sony are also said to be lending a hand when it comes to hardware.

The voice assistant kit is currently being telegraphed for a release in Asian markets during the second half of 2017.

“AI is our most important project at Line and represents a paradigm shift as dramatic as the rise of the smartphone a decade ago,” Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa said.

Shares of LINE rose 1.6% following the reveal.

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