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Line prepares to challenge Amazon's Alexa and Google Home

Line's main goal for Clova and Wave in 2017 is not user acquisition

Tech In Asia 

(Photo: Tech in Asia)
(Photo: Tech in Asia)

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 – which hit the shelves on October 5.

“Lights on,” their daughter protests. Dad laughs.

“No, lights off.”

“Lights on!”

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 It’s heartwarming, but the question remains: can and its digital assistant, Clova challenge or Assistant?

playing catch up

Within a year, had created Clova, which stands for “cloud-based virtual assistant.”

A long road

faces formidable foes in and has several ways to get user data and lock users in. 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 in July 2017.

When asked about collaboration with specifically, Taiichi Hashimoto, who oversees the Clova project, says wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

Home shipments are expected to reach several million units in 2017. Meanwhile, Echo has surpassed them – shipments are expected to reach over 10 million units in 2017.

Line’s main goal for Clova and in 2017 is not user acquisition. appears to be just a side dish to complement Clova: 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 In Asia. You can read the original article here

First Published: Tue, October 10 2017. 09:22 IST