The Amazon Echo has a whole lot of enemies. The newest upcoming product that is looking to challenge America’s favorite personal assistant is actually coming out of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Are you familiar with Line? If you aren’t from Japan then the fact of the matter is that you’ve probably never heard of this WhatsApp competitor. Still, it’s such a big deal in the island nation that they’re challenging Amazon in their home country. Available in two ultra-kawaii versions, the company’s new speakers based on two of its popular mascots: Brown the bear, and Sally the chick. (There’s a whole family of Line characters that are featured on various forms of merchandise from stickers to themed cafes.)
Not into cartoon animals? The company’s flagship speaker will be the Wave (above), which is scheduled to go on sale in Japan this autumn for ¥15,000 ($136). Like the company’s other speakers, the Wave will be powered by Line’s voice-activated digital assistant Clova. With Clova, users can maintain calendars and to-do lists, get information from the web, control smart home gadgets, and “even engage in casual conversations.”
Find out more below.