Kakao prepares to launch new AI voice assistant speaker

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : June 22, 2020, 09:33 | Updated : June 22, 2020, 09:33

[Courtesy of Kakao]

SEOUL -- Kakao, South Korea's web service giant, is preparing to launch a new artificial intelligence voice assistant speaker named "mini hexa."

Artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant speakers can recognize and understand voice commands to carry out simple tasks such as playing music, check daily schedules and control other internet of things (IoT) devices such as air conditioners and TVs connected through a home network.

According to KIPRIS, an online patent information service operated by the Korean Intellectual Property Office, Kakao has applied for trademark rights of mini hexa in April this year. "We are reviewing the details including the release dates and specifications of mini hexa," a Kakao official told reporters. Industry officials predict that mini hexa is the second version of "Kakao Mini," Kakao's AI speaker released in2017. mini hexa is estimated to be released later this year. 

Kakao's AI speaker gained huge attention from tech-savvy South Koreans when it hit the market. More than 200,000 speakers were sold during the first nine months of release. The AI speaker worked as a standalone connected device that gave users the ability to control other home devices.

AI voice speakers released by tech companies hit the South Korean market in 2016 and currently, there are more than four million AI speakers at homes and offices. The distribution of AI speakers accelerated thanks to telecom companies including KT, SK Telecom and LGU+ that aggressively rolled out promotions to offer AI speakers at very low prices for their internet service subscribers.
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