Messaging app service Line has officially provided further details on its smart speakers which will take on Amazon’s Echo, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod. Line will introduce three different models, which differ from rival smart speakers in their cute look.
The flagship product will be Wave, which has a dark blue outlook to give it a high-end technology feel. Wave features Qualcomm’s APQ8009 quad-core 1.3GHz processor, supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and is equipped with a 5000MAH battery, allowing users to take the device around at home.
Another model is called Champ, which has the design of Line’s famous cartoon mascots such as the bear Brown and the chicken Sally. According to the company, Champ is positioned as a more casual and more portable version of Wave.
The third device, named Line Face, is a smart speaker with a touchscreen. The company did not reveal further details on this conceptual product.
All three smart speakers made by Line will incorporate the company’s artificial intelligence Clova, which offers similar functions of other voice assistant. It allows users to listen to music, ask schedules and to-do list, check weather forecast, manage chat messages on the Line app and control smart home devices.
Like how Apple positions HomePod as a device for music streaming service Apple Music, Line is promoting its Line Music through its smart speakers. With Wave or Champ, users can ask Clova to play or recommend songs from Line Music, where over 40 million songs are available.
The availability of Clova is not limited to Line products. Other companies, including Sony, Yamaha, Toyota and FamilyMart, have all announced plans to introduce products or services with Clova built-in.
Although Line has business presence around the globe, its main market is in Japan. Therefore, Clova is expected to speak Japanese before it learns how to speak English.
Wave will be available this fall for 15,000 yen (around US$136) while Champ will be launched in the winter with undisclosed price.