More and more people are starting to talk to computers thanks to the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital assistants.
In the Western world, you’ve got smart speakers from tech giants like Google’s Home, Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod that can supposedly help make our lives easier by doing things for us.
Now, Japanese messaging app LINE is also getting into the AI game by unveiling its own range of smart speakers.
The company’s first flagship speaker is called the Wave, which is scheduled to go on sale in Japan this autumn for ¥15,000 (RM576).
There is also another speaker variant included in the range which will be arriving later – Champ.
Both the Wave and Champ smart speakers will be powered by LINE’s voice-activated digital assistant Clova.
The functionalities of the speakers are basically similar to the ones that are already out in the market, such as playing music, making lists, setting alarms, searching the web, controlling smart home gadgets and so on.
An interesting feature is you’ll actually be able to control your LINE chats using the speakers and even have casual conversations with Clova!
These are pretty much the same functions you can find across multiple AI platforms. But there is one thing LINE has that its Western contenders don’t – cuteness.
Featuring two of the app’s most popular mascots, the Champ speakers will take the form of Brown the bear and Sally the chick.
Although the designs aren’t final, LINE has confirmed that these casual and more portable cartoon smart speakers will be available in Winter 2017.
The smart speakers will also incorporate its music streaming service, Line Music, which helps you search for a song or artist, and recommends based on mood and environment.
Line is also working on a concept Clova product called Face, which may incorporate a display.
Unfortunately, Clova is only able to speak Japanese and Korean for the time being. But if you’re able to understand either language, we bet you’ll want one of these speakers in your home!