A father and his young daughter are preparing to go to sleep. “Lights off,” he says to a glowing smart speaker, next to their bed.
The smart speaker is Line’s Wave
– which hit the shelves on October 5.
“Lights on,” their daughter protests. Dad laughs.
“No, lights off.”
Later, Mom, who’s on the way home from work, sends a message to the smart speaker: “Slept yet?”
The daughter replies: “Clova, tell Mama that Papa is asleep.”
This is Line’s vision of its smart speaker, Clova Wave.
It’s heartwarming, but the question remains: can Wave
and its digital assistant, Clova challenge Alexa
Within a year, Line
had created Clova, which stands for “cloud-based virtual assistant.”
A long road
faces formidable foes in Google
and Amazon. Google
has several ways to get user data and lock users in. Google
Chrome is the dominant web browser. Gmail has more than one billion monthly active users. Over 85 percent of the world’s web searches came from Google
in July 2017.
When asked about collaboration with Google
specifically, Taiichi Hashimoto, who oversees the Clova project, says Line
wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
Home shipments are expected to reach several million units in 2017. Meanwhile, Amazon
Echo has surpassed them – shipments are expected to reach over 10 million units in 2017.
Line’s main goal for Clova and Wave
in 2017 is not user acquisition. Wave
appears to be just a side dish to complement Clova: Line
is focused on creating API openings, growing the Clova developer ecosystem, and involving as many engineers as possible in Clova.
This is an edited excerpt from Tech In Asia. You can read the original article here