Huawei is in the early stages of developing its own voice-powered digital assistant, stepping up competition with Apple, Google and Amazon in this emerging area of technology.
According to Bloomberg, Huawei, currently the world’s third largest smartphone maker behind Apple and Samsung, deployed more than a hundred engineers to develop the technology and the move is specifically targeted at the larger players in the ecosystem.
Apple first launched Siri, its digital assistant in 2011, embedding it into its iPhones, and rivals have followed.
Google developed its own Assistant, which is currently available on its Pixel smartphones, its home speaker and certain smart watches. Amazon in 2016 launched Alexa, a standalone digital assistant device which continues to see traction.
Other manufacturers have also announced their own plans to launch similar products, underpinning the growing hype around Artificial Intelligence processes.
Huawei’s assistant would be only be targeted at its home market, and communicate on its smartphones in Chinese languages, said Bloomberg sources, and the company would continue to work with Amazon and Google outside of China.
Just last month, Huawei said its Mate 9 smartphones would be compatible with Amazon Alexa.
However, Huawei continues to step up its consumer business efforts, and recently detailed ambitions to overtake Apple and become the world’s second largest smartphone maker by 2018.