Line, the Japan-based messaging app is looking to branch out into a new sector of the market. This time, it is targeting the digital assistant sector and it is doing so by way of Clova.

Named after an abbreviation of ‘cloud virtual assistant’, Clova will be developed by both Line and its parent company Naver. According to Line, Clova will be able to do your standard digital assistant tasks like weather checking, online shopping and more, while also being capable of accomplishing tasks that are far for advanced like facial recognition.

The Amazon Alexa comparison becomes apparent when it comes to Clova’s hardware. One out of the two products that Clova will support is a smart speaker called Wave, which is very much Line’s own take on Amazon’s Echo speakers. Apart from the obvious speaker though, Clova would also be accompanied by something described as a ‘Smart Display’ called Face. Line is expected to debut Clova in early summer, so we have little idea as to how capable the system would be for now.

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As for what Line aims to achieve with Clova, the company is actively pinning to be the de facto digital assistant in Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan. “A.I. is our most important project at Line and represents a paradigm shift as dramatic as the rise of the smartphone a decade ago. We are aiming to make Clova Asia’s leading cloud A.I. platform,” says Takeshi Idezawa, CEO of Line.

Source: The Verge