Google expanded availability of its Assistant to feature phones in Indonesia, one of several moves announced by the company as part of a broader push around internet connectivity in the country.
The search giant announced the first feature phone to offer the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered voice control product is the WizPhone, a domestically-manufactured model which will retail for just IDR99,000 ($7).
In a blog, Google explained it launched a Bahasa-language version of Assistant for smartphones in April.
The Assistant feature phone move was one of several announced during Google for Indonesia, an event designed to showcase the potential of the internet to empower consumers and businesses in the country.
Google also unveiled Google Go, an AI-powered app designed to make it easier for first-time smartphone users to access the most-searched for topics of information, popular apps and websites. The app is capable of reading out domestic webpages, a function the company said was being enhanced through a partnership with Wikipedia covering the translation of English-language content into Bahasa.
The company said it expanded the functionality of Assistant in the country through an increased number of partnerships with domestic businesses. This is enabling consumers to access services including taxi-booking, news from five local media outlets and more specialised functionality including job listings.
Google also committed to offer internet training to 1 million small and medium businesses by 2020, expanding a programme which had already seen a similar number of businesses receive such guidance since 2015. The coaching had allowed Indonesian entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in a country that it said has the fastest-growing internet economy in Southeast Asia.Subscribe to our daily newsletter