The Korean company behind messaging app Line is looking to expand into the world of virtual assistants and rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Google Now and Apple’s Siri. The company is calling its assistant Clova, for “cloud virtual assistant”, and says it intends for it to work inside of apps as well as integrated in hardware devices built both by itself and other companies.
Details are scarce at the moment but all the basics are reportedly covered — the ability to check the weather, listen to news, order products, stream music, search the web. Line also says that Cova is also going to have some advanced features which will include facial recognition as well as the ability to respond to “complicated questions.” They haven’t shown off any of these capabilities just yet, however.
The first two products to support Clova will be a dedicated app and a smart speaker called Wave, which will launch in early summer 2017 in Japan and South Korea, along with the new Clova app. Line says it’s in talks with Sony and LG to eventually build the assistant into their own devices.
Line’s parent company, Naver, hopes to become the dominant assistant service throughout Asia, where they are already quite popular. They’re focusing on Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan.