Sony LG and Line
Sony, LG and instant messaging app Line are partnering to create a new AI assistant and a worthy competitor for Amazon's Echo smart speaker. Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon/Steve Marcus/NY

Three heads are better than one. This is perhaps what electronics company Sony and LG and instant messaging app Line are thinking now that they have partnered together to develop a smart speaker that would rival Amazon Echo and Google Home and an AI assistant that would be worthy competitor for Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.

Leading this partnership is the popular chat app who is now ready to foray into the world of artificial intelligence. Line has a strong following in Asian countries, especially in Japan and South Korea. But it needs support to venture into this new market and realize its goal of launching its own intelligent assistant and smart speaker. Hence, it chose to work with Sony and LG to prepare for the launch of its new products.

According to TechCrunch, Line’s AI assistant already has a name, “Clova,” which is short for Cloud Virtual Assistant. For obvious reasons, the company is bringing this Cortana rival to its main chat app. However, it is also planning to expand its reach by releasing its own hardware that would run on this AI technology. This is where Sony and LG come in.

“There is a shift toward post-smartphone, post-touch technologies … Communication and transactions via smartphones displays are expected to decline. There will be completely new ecosystem and the current messaging platform will shift to the cloud AI platform,” Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa said, as quoted by Phone Arena.

There are still no details about the smart speaker the trio is currently developing. Line itself did not disclose the specs and features of this device. Nevertheless, it appears the chat app is very confident with this venture as it already announced that its Clova assistant and Clova-powered smart speaker are slated for release in Japan and Korea in “early summer.” No word yet if it plans to bring these new products to the global scene.