With the competition among AI-powered voice assistants gathering heat, South Korean internet giant Naver isn’t one to back down. The company is today joining the ranks of Google, Amazon and Microsoft with the introduction of its own mobile-based AI assistant app for Android. Called Clova, this Asian voice assistant is launching in beta as Naver is looking forward to a wide variety of feedback from real users.
If you remember, this is not the first time we’re being acquainted with this AI-powered voice assistant. Clova, which is a short-hand representation for ‘Cloud Virtual Assistant’ was shown off by the South Korean giants earlier at Mobile World Congress 2017. It has been developed by Navar in partnership with its long-time partner/messaging giant Line and is aimed squarely at Asian markets.
Clova is carving out a niche audience for itself by offering its services in its native language. But, the functions performed by this voice assistant are quite similar to those of popular rival assistant platforms like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri.
This means Clova will be able to easily listen to your voice commands to answer questions, surface required info, help set reminders, and provide food and music recommendations. Since the app is Asia-focused and from what I’ve seen until now, it is only available in Korean language and can help natives translate languages — a nifty feature to help improve communication.
Further, Naver boasts of the voice assistant’s capability of being able to understand the context and hold emotional conversations. It can only be proved once we test the app. You’ll need to have a Naver account to sign up for this voice assistant, a name in the Korean language and an understanding of the same. The app includes both a microphone and keyboard option to input commands for Clova, you can choose any as per your comfort.
The blog post goes on to mention that Clova’s mobile app is presently in beta testing. The AI nature of the app, it says, will be able to personalize the experience over time. It will learn specific info about you, while also offering differentiated content to you based on your past experiences.
In addition to the mobile AI assistant app, Naver and Line have also integrated the Clova platform into the latter’s messaging app and are presently developing its first hardware device called Wave — a smart speaker running Clova. It is expected to be released in Japan and South Korea sometime around June (or early summer). More features and enhanced intelligence will be rolled out soon whereas there is no word on when Clova will find its way to iOS or the English language.